What Was Albert Speer's Contribution To Germany

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Albert Speer has made a strong contribution to the national history of his period. His architectural influence contributed with the beginning of project ‘Germania’ and the clearing of houses. Also his resistance to Hitler’s ‘Scorched Earth Policy’ and, the use and abuse of forced labour. Albert’s contribution to the rallies and links to the concentration camps connect to the social changes in history. There are many perspectives and interpretations of Albert Speer due to his well structured and though out defence in the Nuremburg trails. This has left many historians such as Dan Van der Vat, Gitta Sereny and William Shirer debating whether Speer made an intentional or unintentional, good or bad, profitable or unprofitable contribution to Germany.…show more content…
Speer argued that Germany's army had a high demand for weaponry and reinforcements, and the domestic industry had a lack of manpower because the Nazi ideology saw women working their traditional roles. Speer violated the Geneva Convention outlawing the use of prisoners of war by using Russian prisoners in his factories. The main impact at the time was the lack of sufficient living conditions for the workers. The work sites lack hygiene and ventilation, and the SS guards resorted to violence against the inmates. Though Speer has claimed that his position was not responsibly for the transportation of labour and therefor was not involved in the source of labour. Historian Dan Van der Vat mentions that Speer visited the Dora missile factory and Mauthausen camp, where he would have witnessed the horrible conditions that prisoners of war were working in (5). Although he asked for improvements to the working conditions this contradicts his claim of having no knowledge of the conditions. One of Speer's earlier projects during 1934 had a major contribution to the popularity and growing support of the Nazi Party. The Nuremburg rally was filmed by Leni Riefenstahl and shown in her film Triumph of the Will. Speer was praised for his 'blood flag' scene, and especially the cathedral of light that was 130 anti-aircraft lights pointed into…show more content…
Many historians, like Alan Bullock believe Speer’s performance in the Nuremburg Trails was the truth and labelled him an ‘apolitical technocrat’, ‘more concerned with the job he had to do than the power it brought him’ (7). On the other hand Hugh Trevor-Roper described Speer as the ‘penitent Nazi’ while interviewing Speer for his book The Last Days of Hitler (8). There is also another debate of Speer’s loyalty to Hitler and whether Speer was just doing his job or agreed with Hitler’s policies. Evidence suggesting that he was just doing his job comes from Speer’s alleged plot to assassinate Hitler. This topic is controversial Sereny argues that Speer had begun to plot Hitler’s assassination with poison gas in 1945. Contractively Van der Vat argues that the plot was reconsidered so that Speer may gain favour at
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