Albert Speer

Assess the significance of Albert Speer in twentieth century national and international history

Albert Speer played a significant role in the direction of German National and to some aspects International history. Due to Speers closely formed ‘friendship’ with Hitler he became a very influential person throughout the Nazi regime. Not only were his architectural skills an asset to him but his organisational and management skills became very resourceful for the Nazi regime when he was appointed Minister of Armaments and Munitions.

The architectural design and the overseeing the construction of the Nuremberg rally sites were one of Speer’s major architectural impacts on the Nazi regime. The Nuremberg rallies were central for the broadcasting of all Nazi propaganda. The Nuremberg Rally was an annual assembly of Nazism that Hitler was presented to the German people as the glorious national liberator. The rallies were also a place where new Nazi policies could be announced. The 1934 Nuremberg rally décor and design was an aspect of Speer’s architectural integrity. He was able to effectively promote the Nazi party through the extensive use of the Nazi swastika flags and banners draped over houses and buildings in the surrounding areas. Speer wanted to leave a lasting impression on travelling and visiting dignitaries. The ‘Cathedral of Lights’ was Speers grand scheme to do so. The ‘Cathedral of Lights’ consisted of over 130 large searchlights directed towards the sky. Speer achieved his goal in leaving a lasting impression of the Nazi party on the British Ambassador, Sir Neville Henderson; he described the sight as being “solemn and beautiful… like being in a cathedral of ice.”

Hitler saw architecture as an expression of the national unity, strength and power of Nazi Germany. Within his proclaimed belief of the, ‘thousand year Reich,’ is a place where an architect should work with a politician in unison. Some of Speer’s decisions were based upon how to create...