Albert Speer (1905–1981) was a trained architect. After joining the Nazi Party in 1930, Speer became Adolf Hitler's personal architect. In 1942, he was named Minister of Armaments and Munitions, assuming significant responsibility for the German war economy. In this position, Speer used millions of forced laborers to raise economic production.
Speer was found guilty on counts three and four (war crimes and crimes against humanity) at the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He was released in 1966.
Critical Thinking Questions
- What qualities and characteristics of leadership did Speer seem to have and to demonstrate? Are they positive or negative?
- How did Speer defend his actions and choices at the IMT? How do leaders of governments and organizations accused of mass atrocities rationalize their choices?