Albert Speer, Reich Minister of Munitions and Armaments throughout Germanys course in World War II, had a profound impact on Germany during the period 1918-1945. This is due to the fact that as an architect, he had been responsible for the redevelopment of Berlin and other major German city centres. Also, because of his status as a senior member and a minister of the Reich parliament, he was chiefly responsible for the prolonging of the war by initiating a rapid increase in the production of armaments. He had also played a contributing effect to Germanys violation of the Geneva Convention in the sense that he had advocated the deprival of Jewish ownership of housing properties, as well as the widespread use of Jewish and POW forced labour. As Hitlers favourite architect, Speer was able to carry out the plans for Hitlers Reich Capital in Berlin. It was through Hitlers desire to impress and bring prestige to the power of the Reich upon the rest of the world that Speers architecture would achieve a significant impact in Germany.
He was responsible for the design of the Nuremberg stadium, convincing Hitler that constructions out of monumental masonry were more elaborate than that of using iron and steel reinforcements, as stone would lend to a quiet magnificence as time elapsed. Additionally, Speer was able to improve on Hitlers ideas from time to time. An instance of this was shown in the documentary Hitlers Henchmen Speer, where when Hitler commissioned a building to be 100 meters long, Speer added at least 200 meters Mein Fuhrer . More importantly, him and Hitler both share the same passion for architecture; in an essay written by Speer himself, he stated that our cities today lack a towering symbol of the community, and one cannot therefore be surprised that ones own city also lacks such a symbol.We know from his speeches the importance Hitler puts on improving the social conditions of every German such that they will be able to take pride in the communitys larger accomplishment. For Speers organisational and planning skills that he had demonstrated in front of the Fuhrer, Hitler became increasingly confident of entrusting Speer with massive construction projects, such as the task of redesigning Berlin. From 1937, enormous demolition works of 52 000 apartments in Berlin were carried out under Speers orders.
Albert Speer 1. Born in March 19 th 1905, and the middle child of three sons, you could say Albert Speer had a life of a movie star. Having a father who was a successful architect in Mannheim, and a mother who came from a wealthy family you would say that the Speer family was more than well off. The Speer family had their own cook, kitchen maid, chamber maid, butler, chauffer, nanny and governess; ...
Because of both Speer and Hitlers taste for monumental masonry, much of Germanys stone quarries were controlled by the SS and stone supplies were met with increasing production outputs. As a result the stone industry was also responsible for an additional boost to the German economy as more iron and steel not used for construction were largely available for the mass production of war armaments. As Matthias Schmidt had stated: And Speer.designed and executed projects that became ever more enormous, ever more tremendous, ever more monumental. There is evidence of suggestion that Speer, driven by ambition, designed projects that actually surpassed Hitlers mammoth dreams. Speers promotion to the rank of Ministry in the Armaments and Munitions sector was possible because of his ability to manage and to complete tasks with great speed. His conduct as Plenipotentiary-General for armament production had significantly increase the industrial output of war armaments, and in turn he guaranteed Germany with a longer lasting involvement in the Second World War.
Professor Winton Higgins from Macquarie University notes that by the time Speer was appointed to a Minister of the Reich, the civilian population barely mobilised for the war effort, industrial co-ordination was haphazard and corruption rife . From 1942, the Four Year plan placed Speer with total authority over armament production for the German Army. With this he established a more organised and efficient structure for the armament industry to ensure that each factory would only produce one kind of weapon at a time . He also initiated a policy of appointing young men into key positions of the industry as to promote the innovative thinking of new ideas. Because of the factional rivalry existing between the military corps, Speer was able urge cooperation between the air force, army and naval factions by establishing a Central Planning Board responsible for the weaponry design and production of all branches of the military. As a result of this efficient planning, armaments production had increased significantly within the first six months. For instance, Germany experienced a 27% increase in gun production, 97% increase in ammunition production and a 25% increase in tank production , and Speer was able to create a permanent total war economy up to 1945.
One man's sick mind led to the extermination of an entire generation of people. These ideas came at the worst possible time, during World War II. The ideas were horrific and evil and today they would be viewed as satanic but at the time they were thought to be glorious and wonderful. This gaveHienrich Himmler a place as one of the most devious persons ever. Himmler went to grade school at the ...
This sudden increase of armament availability served to relieve the desperate needs of the war front at a time when armaments were low. A large reserve of war weaponries were essentially required to carry out Hitlers Blitzkrieg tactics, and to meet these demands Speer convinced Hitler that Germanys armaments factories were required to adopt the use of Jewish and POW forced labour. Hitler, like the previous rulers of Germany, had never predicted that the war would continue after two years, and Speers efforts had certainly supplied the army with the necessary requirements to be able to fight a prolonged war. A clear analysis of the impact of Speers role, as Minister of Armaments and Munitions, is also given by Professor Winton Higgins who stated that: He (Speer) is usually credited..with prolonging the war for several months in giving the German military a new lease of life by sharply raising the efficiency of the German arms industry . One of the impacts on Germany that Speer has been responsible for, laid on the basis that Speer had played a contributing role in the abuse of human rights which had ultimately proved to contribute towards the crimes against humanity that Germany had committed between the periods 1918 to 1945. Because of his major influence in the German armament and building industry, he has often been linked to the atrocities committed against the Jewish community and POWs since mid 1930s.
After the unification of Germany in 1871 the economy progressed rapidly to reach the status of second in the world to the USA. It was encouraged by an excellent education system, good transport system and as result of the unification a combination of every states resources and materials. However Germany's huge population was governed essentially by an authoritarian monarchy, the Kaiser held ...
Due to Hitlers Berlin plans in January 1937, a total of 52 000 homes were required to be demolished to make way for a transformation of Berlin into a grand metropolis. Out of all these apartments in Berlin, Speer stressed that approximately 23 000 of them, occupied by Jewish tenants, should be the proposed grounds for such a project. Additionally, due to the high demands of labour force required to meet the soaring weaponry quotas, Speer also advocated for the use of forced unpaid labour at a time when more German men were required to leave the armaments industry to join the war on the front. Because of this radical thinking, Speer was chiefly accountable for the enactment of The Law concerning the Rental Situation of Jews, which deprived the Jewish community from the security of the Tenant Protection Law. In some cases, Jewish tenants were told in short notices to pack a small luggage of personal items from their house, only to find out that they would be deported to Poland never to see their home again . A clear analysis on the impact on Germany that Speer had caused as a result of displacing Jews was highlighted by Dan van der Vat who stated that Albert Speer wasan active participant in ruining the livesof 75, 000 Berlin Jews by having them evicted.It was clear that Speer rather than Hitler was directly and personally responsible for the bulk of the suffering thus caused. It was Speer who signed the eviction and demolition orders. Also, to meet the needs of the armaments industry, Speer urged the development of wartime efficiency by introducing a slave labour force from Jewish and POW concentration camp into German weapons factories, and he even went further to complain that only 30% of all Russian POWs were given to the armaments industry .
Thus the effect of such policies initiated by Speer in the period 1918 to 1945 placed Germany in direct violation of the Geneva Convention, committing an offence against the International Laws of Human Rights most importantly for sending prisoners of war into forced labour. Throughout the period of Germany 1918 to 1945, Speers organizational, management and intellectual skills both as an architect and as a Minister of Munitions and Armaments, had eventually produced a highly significant impact on the course of Germany. He was able to transform Germany into a state of steady construction and development, which was possible through his influence in both the building industry, the armaments industry, and more importantly due to his close relationship with Hitler. Speer took his role in the German war effort by putting his highly effective, clever and manageable plans into action. This in turn proved decisive for a substantial rise in the production of armaments and thus prolonged the war for Germany. However the price to pay for theses stages in development contributed to an excuse blaming Germany for atrocities committed towards human beings, as the benefits of mass production and expansion were met with Germanys harsh use of forced labour and deprival of certain liberties.
... from producing consumer items for armaments production. He also used foreign workers and prisoners to work as forced labour. When German war production ... not possible. The war was going so poorly for Germany that even Speer’s talent and efficiency drives were unable to reverse the ... after the war had been lost. It is evident that Albert Speer had an overwhelming effect on the Nazi war effort. His ...
Without Speers involvement in German affairs from 1918 to 1945, such immense changes to the German society would have been extremely unlikely to occur.
Non-Fiction Books: Matthias Schmidt: Albert Speer: The End of a Myth. Harrap Limited, 1985 Reports/essays: Assoc. Prof Winton Higgins: Albert Speer: failed penitent David Martin: Albert Speer and the Nazi Anti-Semitic Agenda Paul Kiem: Albert Speer: Notes Videos/Documentaries: Guido Knopp. Hitlers Henchmen Speer. Primary Sources: Albert Speer: The Fuhrers Buildings. Reproduced and translated by Randall Bytwerk from website (http://www.calvin.edu/acaademics/cas/gpa/ahbuild. htm).