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Inside the Third Reich: Memoirs by Albert…

Inside the Third Reich: Memoirs

by Albert Speer

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
On the whole this is a surprisingly dull memoir by Speer, Hitler's pet architect and later Minister of Armaments and Munitions for the Nazi regime. Perhaps this has something to do with Speer's dry German temperament, or maybe it just underscores the banality of evil. It's not a case of the author having absolutely nothing interesting to say (for instance, he recalls Hitler scolding Hess for bringing his own specially-prepared vegetarian meal to the Fuehrer's dinner table, and ridicules Himmler: "Himmler, on the other hand, obviously was going his own absurd way, which was compounded of beliefs about an original Germanic race, a brand of elitism, and an assortment of health-food notions...When, for example, the Japanese presented him with a samurai sword, he at once discovered kinships between Japanese and Teutonic cults, and called upon scientists to help him trace these similarities to a racial common denominator"), but unless you have a fetish for the minutiae of Nazi architecture, Inside the Third Reich is a bit of a snoozer. Speer was an architect, after all, and has few profound insights to offer about his party's role in history; he admits that he rationalized Hitler's actions, that he exposed himself as little as possible to the horrific reality of his government's racial and eugenics campaigns, and leaves it at that.

Objectively, two and a half stars...but I'll give it three because Speer was actually there. ( )
  Jonathan_M | Jul 1, 2016 |
Fascinating account of Nazi Germany and Hitler by a very interesting person. It's quite unique memoirs coming from somebody that was very close to Hitler circle. It's well written and seemingly honest - at least, until last chapters where Speer describes his altruistic actions and I am not sure whether I can believe him. The story of young architect getting in a few years to the height of power through dictator's benevolence and his own abilities is interesting by itself. Add to that the historical background, intimate details of Reich leaders and very close connection to Hitler, and it becomes essential reading for anybody interested in Third Reich history. ( )
  everfresh1 | Dec 23, 2014 |
Speer's memoir of his life during the Third Reich is an extremely dull read. The first half, when he was only Hitler's architect, has him going over buildings in minute detail, with hardly anything else mentioned. When he becomes Minister of Armaments, he totally shifts interest to citing figures on production of material, and how he criticized the Reich leadership for their ineptitude in fighting the war. He spends copious amounts of time repeating that the various leaders and their infighting stalled production, and ruined Germany's chances for the war. He also spends a good portion of the book describing his meetings with Hitler. However, these were daily occurances, and Speer seems to want to recall every note and memorandum he sent to Hitler for his approval. Only at the end of the book when he describes his time post-Hitler and his captivity under the Allies is the book get interesting. Other than that, it is a rather dreary look at the Third Reich. ( )
1 vote kaiser_matias | Jul 7, 2014 |
This is an essential source of information on Hitler and World War II. Speer began as an architect for Hitler, himself absorbed with architecture from early manhood, who advanced to be head of all German war materials. The photographs - and they are plentiful - are testimony themselves to Speer's access to the German leader. He spent his 20 year in prison writing this memoir. Reviewers properly look for lapses and shading ot the truth, and it may well be there, but it is largely an accurate account. ( )
  carterchristian1 | Dec 17, 2011 |
I want to keep my distance from a work like this because although I feel Speer is mostly an honest narrator, his clear, somewhat banal account of the Third Reich, Hitler, and his own activities read like a generic memoir, somehow perverting the madness of the time—the destruction, inhuman cruelty, and the quest for absolute power. By giving us this account, Speer affirms that for the most part the atrocities of the the Third Reich were carried out by otherwise normal, almost boring men, like himself, who were tasked with a mission and carried it out to the best of their abilities. (Speer affirms this view on page 344, when he talks of an article in The Observer that spoke of him as the leader of a highly efficient, impersonal technocracy.) My fear is that this is not a sufficiently emotional account to teach us anything. It gives us an inside look, yes, but it is so self absorbed that we lose the broader view of the war's effects. We miss the sufferings of millions because we are tangled in Speer's account of day-to-day travels, power struggles within the regime, and the stubborn madness of Hitler.

Could this memoir be anything else? Should it be? Probably not. I just can't help but feel that Speer's last sacrifice should be to accept alienation, where his memoirs, like his architecture, become lost to that time. ( )
1 vote mofoty | Nov 7, 2011 |
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Speer, Albertprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Winston, ClaraTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winston, RichardTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davidson, EugeneIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maffi, EnrichettaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maffi, QuirinoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0684829495, Paperback)

From 1946 to 1966, while serving the prison sentence handed down from the Nuremburg War Crimes tribunal, Albert Speer penned 1,200 manuscript pages of personal memoirs. Titled Erinnerungen ("Recollections") upon their 1969 publication in German, Speer's critically acclaimed personal history was translated into English and published one year later as Inside the Third Reich. Long after their initial publication, Speer's memoir continues to provide one of the most detailed and fascinating portrayals of life within Hitler's inner circles, the rise and fall of the third German empire, and of Hitler himself.

Speer chronicles his entire life, but the majority of Inside the Third Reich focuses on the years between 1933 and 1945, when Speer figured prominently in Hitler's government and the German war effort as Inspector General of Buildings for the Renovation of the Federal Capital and later as Minister of Arms and Munitions. Speer's recollections of both duties foreground the impossibility of reconciling Hitler's idealistic, imperialistic ambitions with both architectural and military reality. Throughout, Inside the Third Reich remains true to its author's intentions. With compelling insight, Speer reveals many of the "premises which almost inevitably led to the disasters" of the Third Reich as well as "what comes from one man's holding unrestricted power in his hands." -- Bertina Loeffler

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:06 -0400)

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The author presents a detailed account of his fifteen-year association with the German Fuhrer

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