Albert Speer: the Good Nazi?

Was Albert Spear really a good Nazi?

There are many historical perspectives and interpretations as to whether or not Albert Speer was the good Nazi that he claimed to be. Some historians portray Speer as an “opportunist” and “an emotional cripple, who manipulated people”- Van Der Vat. Others however are rather sympathetic of Speer and believe he was just doing his job and was merely an “apolitical technocrat”- Joachim Fest. Speer claimed ‘collective responsibility’, he also gained sympathy with Western powers by claiming he was the ‘Nazi who said sorry’, as well his apparent assassination attempt on Hitler. It is however hard to ignore the close relationship that Speer shared with Hitler, with many historians arguing that it was impossible for Speer to not have known about the execution of the Jews and the “Final Solution”. Speer was elevated from being a normal German Architect to becoming the Minster of Armaments and Munitions in February 1942, linking with how Speer was able to capitalise while being in Hitler’s inner circle. Speer also exploited slave labour during his architectural projects and war productions and was ultimately convicted for a light sentence of 20 years in Spandau prison, which provides enough evidence to say that Speer was not a good Nazi and not as innocent as he may seem.

With Germany conceding defeat in WWII, it is alleged that Speer knew defeat was imminent and knew he would have to win Allied support at the November 1945 Nuremburg Trials. Speer was already implementing measures to gain sympathy from Western powers, such as disobeying Hitler’s Scorched Earth policy and his assassination attempt on Hitler. Speer was Armaments Minister and exploited slave labour throughout the war, meaning he would be charged for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Speer knew that if found guilty, he would be facing life imprisonment or even the death penalty. Speer used the Nuremburg trials as an opportunity to portray himself as a good Nazi....