The Background of Albert Speer (Not Cited)

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Albert Speer: Modern History Assessment

Question 1: Describe (provide characteristics and features) the background (family influences and early career) of Albert Speer. No more than two pages. 10 marks.

The early life and career of Albert Speer was shaped by his familial upbringing, his connection to his mentor Professor Heinrich Tessenow and, in later years, his affiliation with the Nazi Party. Born into a wealthy family in March 1905, Albert Speer was the second of three sons. His father, Albert, was a prosperous architect who provided a privileged life for his three sons and wife. Albert's mother, Luise, was also successful in her own right. His parents provided all manner of material conveniences to their sons however with their high social standing, considerable wealth and busy lives, attending to their children with affection took second place. According to Henry T. King, a deputy prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials, "Love and warmth were lacking in the household of Speer's youth".

Albert Speer left school with impressive results and intending to study mathematics, however his father said that if Speer chose that occupation he would "lead a life without money, without a position and without a future". Instead, he persuaded his son to adopt architecture, with the impression that Speer would join his father's business.

Schmidt, Matthias (1984), Albert Speer: The End of a Myth, St Martins Press

In 1923, the impact of the German hyperinflation crisis limited his parents' finances and so Speer began his studies at the Institute of Technology in Karlsruhe. Once the crisis had diminished he transferred to a more reputable institution, the Technical University of Munich. During his architectural studies Speer came under the influence of Professor Heinrich Tessenow, whose ideas and attitudes on architecture greatly impacted Speer. After graduating as an architect in 1927, Speer began to work as Professor Tessenow's assistant, a prestigious role for a...
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