Politics & Society

Albert Speer

1905 Mannheim (Germany) – 1981 London (UK)
Architect, politician
Country: Germany

He pursues an extraordinary dual career during the Third Reich. As an architect, he is Hitler’s planner from 1933 for the construction of the colossal buildings with which Hitler seeks to immortalise in stone his "thousand-year Reich": most of these, however, remain utopian ideas, or are never completed. Speer also holds the position of armaments minister in parallel from 1942.

In this role, he invites German nuclear researchers, industrial consultants and army officials to a "working meeting" at Harnack House on 4 June 1942: The scientists are to discuss their research progress and evaluate whether the creation of a German nuclear bomb is feasible within the next two to three years. Speer is astonished by the scientists’ reticence. Instead of asking for millions, they only request small amounts. Speer abandons the project, preferring to invest henceforth in Wernher von Braun’s rocket project, the V2. Speer is sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment at the Nuremberg Trials.

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