Albert Speer


Adolf Hitler
Nazi Party
Albert Speer, Jr.
(Visual Arts)
Karl Fiehler
Julius Schulte-Frohlinde
(Visual Arts)
Rudolf Hess

See also

Albert Speer

Knowledge Identifier: +Albert_Speer


Albert Speer

German architect who was, for a part of World War II, Minister of Armaments and War Production for the Third Reich add

Category: Visual Arts

Born in 1905, deceased in 1981.

Countries: Germany (71%), United Kingdom (11%), Russia (5%)

Main connections: Adolf Hitler, Nazi Party, Albert Speer, Jr.

Linked to: Allies of World War II, Playboy, Golden Party Badge, Technical University of Munich




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Albert Speer was born in 1905 add something


In 1918, the family moved permanently to their summer home, Schloss-Wolfsbrunnenweg, in Heidelberg add something


Speer began his architectural studies at the University of Karlsruhe instead of a more highly acclaimed institution because the hyperinflation crisis of 1923 limited his parents' income add something


In 1924 when the crisis had abated, he transferred to the "much more reputable" Technical University of Munich add something


Rudolf Wolters - In 1924, Wolters met Albert Speer, who was a year behind him


In 1925 he transferred again, this time to the Technical University of Berlin where he studied under Heinrich Tessenow, whom Speer greatly admired add something


After passing his exams in 1927, Speer became Tessenow's assistant, a high honor for a man of 22 add something


Despite this opposition, the two married in Berlin on August 28, 1928; seven years were to elapse before Margarete Speer was invited to stay at her in-laws' home add something


Speer stated he was apolitical when he was a young man, and that he attended a Berlin Nazi rally in December 1930 at the urging of some of his students add something


Karl Fiehler - During the 1930s a number of model buildings, prime examples of grandiose Nazi architecture, had been erected by Paul Ludwig Troost, the predecessor of Albert Speer as Hitler's "Court Master Builder", in Munich


In 1931, Speer surrendered his position as Tessenow's assistant because of pay cuts and moved to Mannheim, hoping to use his father's connections to get commissions add something


Speer joined the Nazi Party in 1931, launching him on a political and governmental career which lasted fourteen years add something


On March 1, 1931, he applied to join the Nazi Party and became member number 474,481 add something


Speer designed the 1933 May Day commemoration in Berlin add something


The organizers of the 1933 Nürnberg Nazi Party rally asked Speer to submit designs for the rally, bringing him into contact with Hitler for the first time add something


When the commission was completed, Speer returned to Mannheim and remained there as Hitler took office in January 1933 add something


Speer in 1933



Richard Riemerschmid - After the Nazi regime came to power in 1933, Riemerschmid was forced out of the Werkbund, and in 1943 Hitler forbade the award of the Goethe Medal for Art and Science to him as urged by Albert Speer


When Troost died on January 21, 1934, Speer effectively replaced him as the Party's chief architect add something


Julius Schulte-Frohlinde - On the recommendation of Albert Speer, in 1934 Schulte-Frohlinde went to work under Robert Ley's German Labour Front


Speer designed the German Pavilion for the 1937 international exposition in Paris add something


Gustav Frohlich - In 1937, he rented his house in Berchtesgaden to Hitler's architect, Albert Speer


In January 1938, Hitler asked Speer to build a new Reich Chancellery on the same site as the existing structure, and said he needed it for urgent foreign policy reasons no later than his next New Year's reception for diplomats on January 10, 1939 add something


From 1939 onward, the Department used the Nuremberg Laws to evict Jewish tenants of non-Jewish landlords in Berlin, to make way for non-Jewish tenants displaced by redevelopment or bombing add something


The outbreak of World War II in 1939 led to the postponement, and eventual abandonment, of these plans add something


Alfred P. Sloan - "Nazi armaments chief Albert Speer told a congressional investigator that Germany could not have attempted its September 1939 Blitzkrieg of Poland without the performance-boosting additive technology provided by Alfred P. Sloan and General Motors"


In 1940, Joseph Stalin proposed that Speer pay a visit to Moscow add something


Hitler visits Paris in 1940 with Speer and sculptor Arno Breker



When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, Speer came to doubt, despite Hitler's reassurances, that his projects for Berlin would ever be completed add something


According to the minutes of a conference at "Wehrmacht" High Command in March 1942, "It is only Speer's word that counts nowadays add something


Erich Raeder - As the U-boats continued to be the arm of the "Kriegsmarine" that was doing most of the fighting, by 1942 Raeder was becoming increasingly overshadowed by Admiral Karl Dönitz, who made little secret of his contempt for the "battleship admiral" Raeder, and started to act more and more independently, for instance, dealing directly with Albert Speer in settling construction targets for the U-boats


Wehrmacht - The OKW was given the task of central economic planning and procurement, but the authority and influence of the OKW's war economy office was challenged by the procurement offices of the single branches of service as well as by the Ministry for Armament and Munitions , into which it was merged after the ministry was taken over by Albert Speer in early 1942


Joseph Goebbels - A more useful ally was Albert Speer, a Hitler favourite who was appointed Armaments Minister in February 1942


Werner Heisenberg - On 4 June 1942, Heisenberg was summoned to report to Albert Speer, Germany's Minister of Armaments, on the prospects for converting the Uranium Club's research toward developing nuclear weapons.


Another legacy was the "Arbeitsstab Wiederaufbau zerstörter Städte" , authorized by Speer in 1943 to rebuild bombed German cities to make them more livable in the age of the automobile add something


By 1943, the Allies had gained air superiority over Germany, and bombings of German cities and industry had become commonplace add something


In response to Goldhagen's article, Speer had alleged that in writing "Inside the Third Reich", he erred in reporting an incident that happened at another conference at Posen a year later, as happening in 1943 add something


In spite of these losses, German production of tanks more than doubled in 1943, production of planes increased by 80 percent, and production time for "Kriegsmarine"'s submarines was reduced from one year to two months add something


Speer was so successful in his position that by late 1943, he was widely regarded among the Nazi elite as a possible successor to Hitler add something


Goebbels would note in his diary in June 1943, "Speer is still tops with the "Führer" add something


Much of the controversy over Speer's knowledge of the Holocaust has centered on his presence at the Posen Conference on October 6, 1943, at which Himmler gave a speech detailing the ongoing Holocaust to Nazi leaders add something


On December 10, 1943, Speer visited the underground Mittelwerk V-2 rocket factory that used concentration camp labor add something


Speer awarded an Org.Todt ring by Hitler - May 1943



Service du travail obligatoire - On 15 September 1943 the Reich Minister of Armaments and War Production Albert Speer concluded an agreement with Vichy government minister Jean Bichelonne exempting many French companies working for Germany from Sauckel's requisitions


In January 1944, Speer fell ill with complications from an inflamed knee, and was away from the office for three months add something


Speer's name was included on the list of members of a post-Hitler government drawn up by the conspirators behind the July 1944 assassination plot to kill Hitler add something


Karl Gebhardt - In early 1944, Gebhardt treated Albert Speer for fatigue and a swollen knee


Junkers Ju 290 - In the spring of 1944, after Albert Speer had taken over the direction of air armaments, the Luftwaffe High Command boldly announced that production of the Ju 290 was to be suspended despite it being urgently needed for maritime reconnaissance; suspending production meant that resources could instead be diverted to building fighter aircraft


Wilhelm Furtwangler - Furtwängler was treated relatively well by the Nazis; he had a high profile, and was an important cultural figure, as evidenced by his inclusion in the Gottbegnadeten list of September 1944 and Hitler, in gratitude for Furtwängler's refusal to leave Berlin, even when it was being bombed by the allies, ordered Albert Speer to build a special air raid shelter for the conductor and his family in his house


Speer testified that he had planned to kill Hitler in early 1945 by dropping a canister of poison gas into the bunker's air intake add something


The second Chancellery was damaged by the Battle of Berlin in 1945 and was eventually dismantled by the Soviets, its stone used for a war memorial add something


By February 1945, Speer, who had long concluded that the war was lost, was working to supply areas about to be occupied with food and materials to get them through the hard times ahead add something


On March 19, 1945, Hitler issued his Nero Decree, ordering a scorched earth policy in both Germany and the occupied territories add something


In September 1945, he was told that he would be tried for war crimes, and several days later, he was taken to Nuremberg and incarcerated there add something


Leading members of the Flensburg Government after their arrest. Karl Dönitz is followed by Speer and Alfred Jodl .



On October 1, 1946, he was sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment add something


On July 18, 1947, Speer and his six fellow prisoners, all former high officials of the Nazi regime, were flown from Nuremberg to Berlin under heavy guard add something


Speer spent most of his sentence at Spandau Prison


From 1952 the prisoners were able to order books from the Berlin central library in Wilmersdorf add something


As early as 1953, when Wolters strongly objected to Speer referring to Hitler in the memoirs draft as a criminal, Speer had predicted that were the writings to be published, he would lose a "good many friends" add something


By 1954, Speer had completed his memoirs, which became the basis of "Inside the Third Reich", and which Wolters arranged to have transcribed onto 1,100 typewritten pages add something


Speer served his full sentence, and was released on the stroke of midnight as October 1, 1966 began add something


He said little, reserving most comments for a major interview published in "Der Spiegel" in November 1966, in which he again took personal responsibility for crimes of the Nazi regime add something


Eugene K. Bird - After the publication of the book, Bird campaigned to have Hess released from what had effectively become permanent solitary confinement after Albert Speer and Baldur von Schirach were released in 1966


Rudolf Hess - After the release in 1966 of Baldur von Schirach and Albert Speer, Hess was the sole remaining inmate of Spandau Prison, partly at the insistence of the Soviets


Since 1967, it has served as the offices of the Royal Society add something


In 1971, American historian Erich Goldhagen published an article arguing that Speer was present for Himmler's speech add something


Playboy - He did an extensive, in-depth interview for the June 1971 issue of "Playboy" magazine, in which he stated, "If I didn't see it, it was because I didn't want to see it add something


In October 1973, Speer made his first trip to Britain, flying to London under an assumed name to be interviewed on the BBC "Midweek" programme by Ludovic Kennedy add something


Indro Montanelli - Albert Speer, who had been in the convoy with fellow artist Arno Breker, corroborated the story in 1979


Anselm Kiefer - A series of paintings Kiefer executed between 1980 and 1983 depict looming stone edifices, referencing famous examples of National Socialist architecture, particularly buildings designed by Albert Speer and Wilhelm Kreis.


Speer died of natural causes in 1981 while on a visit to London add something

Albert Speer died in 1981 add something


While in London eight years later to participate in the BBC "Newsnight" programme, Speer suffered a stroke and died on September 1, 1981 add something


The Cathedral of light above the Zeppelintribune


Derek Newark - In 1982, he played Martin Bormann in the TV series, based on Albert Speer's 'Inside the Third Reich'


Reichsminister Speer rests on a doorstep


Albert Speer, Jr. - In 1984 he founded the company "Büro Albert Speer & Partner" in Frankfurt am Main, which currently has more than 100 employees and is one of the biggest and most well-reputed architectural and urban planning companies in Germany


In 2005, "The Daily Telegraph" reported that documents had surfaced indicating that Speer had approved the allocation of materials for the expansion of Auschwitz after two of his assistants toured the facility on a day when almost a thousand Jews were murdered add something


In his 2006 book, "The Wages of Destruction", Tooze, following Gitta Sereny, argues that Speer's ideological commitment to the Nazi cause was greater than he claimed add something


A letter reported in the press in 2007 that Speer sent to a Belgian widow in 1971 made it clear Speer was indeed aware of the holocaust add something


In 2007, however, correspondence between Speer and a Belgian resistance widow Hélène Jeanty, made it clear that Speer had indeed been present for Himmler's presentation add something


Entrance Villa Speer, Heidelberg, in December 2011


Albert Speer: The "Good Nazi-:" Yesterday TV channel, UK, 17,00, 18 December 2013In the letter to Jeanty, written on December 23, 1971, Speer wrote: "There is no doubt - I was present as Himmler announced on October 6, 1943 that all Jews would be killed add something


Josef Thorak - On 20 May 2015, two of Thorak's sculptures, a pair of colossal "striding horses" that had once stood outside the Reich Chancellery built by Albert Speer in Berlin, turned up during a police raid on a storehouse in Bad Dürkheim, along with other Nazi art


Speer travelling by plane