Albert Speer Analysis

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Albert Speer’s background and historical context are significant as they facilitate an understanding of his character and changing personality. Speer’s childhood was a chief component that assisted in shaping the individual he was to mature into and the emotions he would choose to publicize. Speer was born on the 19th of March during 1905, in the city of Mannheim Germany. Even though Speer was brought up into an upper-middle-class family or ‘haute bourgeoisie’ receiving all the advantages wealth provided, his childhood was despondent. Speer’s parent’s lack of affection due to the priorities wealth delivered led to Speer’s lonely and loveless childhood. This was suggested by historians to be the contributing constituent behind the lack of compassion…show more content…
Gita Sereny was an Austrian journalist who believed that Speer’s personality was shaped by the ‘tragic Nazi’ image. Sereny alleged that Speer undoubtly knew about the issues surrounding him like that of the murder of the Jews. However she portrayed Speer as a man who sought to unburden himself of guilt asserting that, “most of all, his continuing and tormenting awareness of guilt- out of all this, came to be another Speer” . She depicts Speer’s personality to be that of avoidance and regret as he ‘turned away’ from the appalling crimes being committed against the Jews and portrayed remorse through his acts of penance such as donating money to Jewish charities. This shows that Speer being described as an ‘emotionally blocked man’ was the reason behind his appalling actions. However, Gita Sereny was also willing to consider Speer’s ‘genuine’ commitment to repent after the Nuremburg Trail. This renders the transformation in Speer’s personality due to the surplus of evidence that was emerging such as the weight of knowledge he had on the ‘final solution’. Sereny succinctly stated that “he felt personal guilt”, and “If Speer had said as much in Nuremburg, he would have been hanged” . Therefore, this portrays Speer as a ‘penitent Nazi’ who was partially to blame for many Jews ending up in concentration…show more content…
Speer’s image transitioned from an apolitical stance into a ‘skilled manipulator’ as a result of Gold Hagen and the ‘Office Chronicles’. Gold Hagen was a substantial figure who utilised Speer’s life events and altered historian perceptions on Speer’s personality. He argued that Speer had been present at the Gauleiters’ and Reich Officials’ Conference, therefore was cognizant of the ‘Final solution’ planned. Nevertheless, Speer claims in his three page affidavit that he did not attend the conference. However, Hagen debated that even though Speer was not present, he had prior knowledge of the ‘Final solution’ as was mentioned numerous times in Himmler’s speech. Sereny and Van Der Vat affirmed Hagen’s argument proving Speer’s involvement with the death of 75,000 Jews through his project of ‘Germania’ which involved demolishing Jewish settlements and utilizing slave labour to accomplish many tasks. Both historians argued,“…Speer was not an absent- minded , eyes-averted, amoral non-spectator of Nazi anti-Semitism but an active participant…” . This clearly depicts that Speer was not ‘apolitical’ however interested in party-fighting as he chose to ignore the issue of mortality in his dealings with the Jews. The ‘Office Chronicles’ which were written by Wolter from 1941 to 1945 were used as evidence for historians to

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