Albert Speer; His Battle with Truth

( 3 )

Overview

Albert Speer was not only Hitler's architect and armaments minister, but the Fuhrer's closest friend—his "unhappy love." Speer was one of the few defendants at the Nuremberg Trials to take responsibility for Nazi war crimes, even as he denied knowledge of the Holocaust. Now this enigma of a man is unveiled in a monumental biography by a writer who came to know Speer intimately in his final years. Out of hundreds of hours of interviews, Sereny unravels the threads of Speer's personality: the genius that made him ...

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Overview

Albert Speer was not only Hitler's architect and armaments minister, but the Fuhrer's closest friend—his "unhappy love." Speer was one of the few defendants at the Nuremberg Trials to take responsibility for Nazi war crimes, even as he denied knowledge of the Holocaust. Now this enigma of a man is unveiled in a monumental biography by a writer who came to know Speer intimately in his final years. Out of hundreds of hours of interviews, Sereny unravels the threads of Speer's personality: the genius that made him indispensable to the German war machine, the conscience that drove him to repent, and the emotional wounds that made him susceptible to Hitler's lethal magnetism. Read as an inside account of the Third Reich, or as a revelatory unsparing yet compassionate study of the human capacity for evil, Albert Speer: His Battle with Truth is a triumph.

"Fascinating...Not only a major addition to our knowledge of the Third Reich, but a stunning attempt to understand the nature of good and evil."—Newsday

"More than a biography...It also constitutes a perceptive re-examination of the mysterious appeal of Adolf Hitler."—San Francisco Chronicle

Sereny takes readers through the emotional desert of Speer's childhood and marriage, his architectural co-creation with Hitler, and his service as Minister of Munitions and Armaments, when his brutal use of slave labor extended a lost war. The riveting tale of an extraordinary man who made a stunning Faustian bargain, Speer's story is also an unforgettable study of how good exists with evil. Photos.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Based on extensive firsthand interviews, this biography of the late Nazi Speer probes the nature of good and evil. (Nov.)
Library Journal
At one time, Albert Speer was the closest man to Adolf Hitler. Unlike other war criminals, Speer seemed to accept blame for his actions and felt the Nazi leadership should take responsibility for Hitler's crimes, not the German people. Sentenced to 20 years in Spandau prison, he was released in 1966 and died in 1981. Speer's writings and diaries (e.g., Infiltration, LJ 6/15/81) have become standard sources. Sereny repeats a method she used successfully in Into That Darkness: An Examination of Conscience (Vintage, 1983), which dealt with the Treblinka concentration camp commander Franz Stangel. That is, she conducted intensive and protracted interviews with Speer ("I grew to like [him]") and many of the people who were close to him. Along with the interviews and analysis are good descriptions of what was happening in Germany throughout the Third Reich. Sereny's clear and concise prose makes this book suitable for both the scholar and the lay reader. She has produced what will become one of the standard works in Holocaust studies. For all libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/95.]-Dennis L. Noble, Sequim, Wash.
From Barnes & Noble
This reappraisal of Speer takes us from the emotional desert of his childhood & marriage & his service to Adolf Hitler, to his years in Spandau prison where he struggled with his guilt & criminal inaction. B&W photos.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679768128
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/28/1996
  • Series: Vintage Series
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 800
  • Sales rank: 614,935
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.62 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2002

    A must read for all those wondering why

    This is a most important book for anyone who wants to understand the horrors of our recent history. What made people not see what went on in Germany during the 1930s and part of the 1940s? Sereny's portrait of Albert Speer, based on several marathon interview with Speer himself as well as interview with his children, grandchildren, business associates, friends, etc etc, I a 'must read' for us who didn't experience the WW 2. Speer started as a mediocre (his own words) architect who accidently got the attention of Adolf Hitler. Gaining in importance he was eventually resoponsible for constructions in German territory and found himself drawn into politics and internal fights for power. He ended up at the minister for arms and constructions (sw. Rustningsminister) and as such was responsible for the slave workers used in the German war industry. As becomes painfully clear Speer was an amoral person - he didn't much care, or he didn't have mental peace to care, if his workers died or not. If his workers conditions were acceptable human living standards or not. As long as the industry delivered what was needed he was satiefied. Serenys tries to wrestle the million-dollar-answer from Speer through out her intervues with him: Did he, or did he not know of the fate of the Jews? Speer avoids throughout the maraton interviews to answer this question outright. He knew that something happened to the Jews assembled at railway stations - but not precisely what. He assumed that they were taken to work camps. As I said this is a must read. We must not let this happen again - and some of the answers to how it could happen in the first place is given in the book. How could decent intellectual Germans accept the fate of dissidents and Jews in nazi Germany? Read Albert Speer: His Battle with Truth, it is good for you. I'll leave you with Speers own words: 'I am not a moral man'.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2002

    New light on old time

    This is quite interesting book on the mechanisms of the III Reich, and thinking at that time. The authors showed the transformation of the person who was in the center of this book - A. Speer. Interesting book for people interested in recent history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2009

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