- Speer, Albert
died Sept. 1, 1981, London, Eng.German Nazi official.He became an architect in 1927 and an active member of the Nazi Party in 1931. He impressed Adolf Hitler with his efficiency and talent and was appointed chief architect of the Third Reich in 1933. He designed the parade grounds and banners of the Nazi rallies held for the party congresses, including the 1934 Nürnberg Rally (see Nürnberg Rallies) filmed by Leni Riefenstahl. In 1942 he became minister for armaments and war production and expanded the system of conscript and slave labour that maintained Germany's wartime productivity. Speer confessed his guilt at the Nürnberg trials, and he served 20 years in prison. His published works include Inside the Third Reich (1969) and Spandau (1975).
* * *▪ German architect and Nazi officialborn March 19, 1905, Mannheim, Baden, Ger.died Sept. 1, 1981, LondonGerman architect who was Adolf Hitler's (Hitler, Adolf) chief architect (1933–45) and minister for armaments and war production (1942–45).Speer studied at the technical schools in Karlsruhe, Munich, and Berlin, and acquired an architectural license in 1927. After hearing Hitler speak at a Berlin rally in late 1930, he enthusiastically joined the Nazi Party (January 1931) and so impressed the Führer by his efficiency and talent that, soon after Hitler became chancellor, Speer became his personal architect. He was rewarded with many important commissions, including grandiose plans to rebuild the whole of Berlin (never accomplished) and the design of the parade grounds, searchlights, and banners of the spectacular Nürnberg party congress of 1934, filmed by Leni Riefenstahl in Triumph of the Will.In 1942 Speer became minister of armaments and munitions, a title enlarged the following year to minister of armaments and war production, when he was charged not only with armaments production, transportation, and placement but also with final authority over raw materials and industrial production. With this authority, Speer expanded a system of conscript and slave labour, supplied primarily from concentration camps, that maintained production of war material for Nazi Germany.Speer confessed his guilt at the Nürnberg trials in 1945–46 and served a 20-year sentence at Spandau prison in West Berlin. Following his release in 1966 he had a career as a writer. His published works include Erinnerungen (1969; Inside the Third Reich, 1970), Spandauer Tagebücher (1975; Spandau: The Secret Diaries, 1976), and Der Sklavenstaat (1981; Infiltrator, 1981).
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