Berthold Konrad Hermann Albert Speer (Known as Albert) was born in 1905 into an upper middle class family in Manheim, Germany, although his family relocated to Hiedelberg in 1918. He grew up in a household “lacking of love and warmth ”. As a child Speer was active in sports and was a natural mathematician. Speer followed the footsteps of his father and grandfather and studied architecture; initially, due to the hyperinflation of Germany in 1923, at the University of Karlsruhe, a “lower class” university, but transferred to the Technical University of Munich in 1924, then to the Technical University of Berlin in 1925. In August 1928, against his mother’s wishes due to her views on class superiority, Speer married Margarete Weber. Speer began a close relationship with his then lecturer Heinrich Tessenow, who became his mentor and had much influence over Albert.
In December 1930, after some urging from fellow classmates, Speer attended a National Socialist German Worker’s Party (known as the “Nazis”) rally in Berlin. The Nazi party was a fairly new socialist movement that had appealed to the middle class’s fear of communism, community desperation in the face of economic turmoil and the German hatred of the Treaty of Versailles. The party had worked its way up through its leader Adolf Hitler’s outstanding oratory skills and inspirational speeches. In 1930 they were the second largest party in the Reichstag. Tessenow was not a supporter of the Nazi movement, however many of Speer’s fellow classmates were, due to their middle class ideologies. Speer considered himself fairly apolitical, however he was impressed with the way Hitler spoke and presented himself, and so joined the party in 1931. Speer considered himself a “Hitler follower” rather than a true supporter of the ‘party program’.
In the early 1930s, the German economy was too weak to support ongoing construction work, so Speer’s architectural skill and training was laid aside. Speer’s personal wealth...
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