Albert Speer served the Nazi Regime from 1931-1945. It is within this 14 year period Speer’s significance from the war effort can be recognized as one of the most crucial and predominant roles within the Nazi leadership. As Hitler’s chief architect Albert created numerous designs and constructions used for Nazi propaganda as well as the Dora concentration camp. Using his power and influence within the German Nazi movement, Speer exploited the use of slave labor, as well as aided astronomically to the output of ammunitions and other vast weaponry, further prolonging world war two. Internationally recognized as the ‘Nazi who said sorry’ collectively, it was from Speer’s remorseful attitude during his trial in 1946 as well as his previous crimes committed in the Nazi movement from which his significance in German and international history is seen.
Serving as Hitler’s Major Architect throughout Speer’s involvement in the Nazi regime, there are many structures and designes that contribute to the significance of Speer throughout Germany. The first of such would be the construction of Nuremberg stadium in 1934. Here Speer efficiently and decisively built the permanent reviewing stand for the Nuremberg rally and developed what he called his “cathedral of light”. In effort to achieve a dramatic affect, 130 high-powered searchlights were installed around the zeppelin field stadium, casting beams of light some 8000 metres into the sky. Along with the construction of the massive Reich eagle overlooking the zeppelin field, Speer contributed to the installment of Nazi propaganda on German landmarks and was most recognized internationally for this project in particular. In 1939, Speer completed the new Reich’s chancellery building in Berlin. This architectural development was significant within Germany as it signified the new age Germany Hitler was so determined to construct. Both Speer and Hitler purposefully strove to construct a specific style of architecture that would portray and reflect the Nazi regime’s dominance and convince the world of the power and progress of Germany under Hitler.
Succeeding the engineer Fritz Todt as a result of his death, Speer was appointed minister for armaments in 1942. This gave Speer total control of energy industries as well as the responsibility of the production of munitions and weaponry within the German war effort. In 1943 he also took over part of Hermann Goering's responsibilities as planner of the German war economy. From Todt, Speer inherited the Organisation Todt, an organization using slave labor as a means for the construction of strategic roads and defenses. Despite the pressures of war and the constant allied bombardment, Speer reorganized munitions production to use resources more efficiently, thus increasing the German output of ammunition and other weaponry by 55% within the first 6 months. As a result of Speer’s unyielding devotion to his work and organizational skills, economic production was at its highest in 1944. Speer continued to then improve the German war effort with the production of planes increasing from 9500 in 1941 to 34 300 within a three year period. Tank production also increased significantly, with the initial figure at 2900 in 1941 and consequently rising to 17 300 in 1944.
As a result of Speer’s huge success in the production of munitions and weaponry, there was soon a desperate need for workers for war production and by 1944, the Nazi government were relying on over 7 million foreign laborers and 400 000 prisoners of war and concentration camps working as slave laborers. This equated to about 20% of the German work force, and it was Speer that initially determined the number of slave workers they would require, as well as where they would be placed within the work force. The use of forced labor resulted in extremely harsh conditions for the workers and they received brutal treatment. As a result of the forced Labor inflicted upon these...
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