Albert Speer, born Berthold Konrad Hermann Albert Speer March 19, 1905 – September 1, 1981) was a German architect who was, for a part of World War II, Minister of Armaments and War Production for the Third Reich. Speer was Adolf Hitler's chief architect before assuming ministerial office. As "the Nazi who said sorry" he accepted responsibility at the Nuremberg trials and in his memoirs for crimes of the Nazi regime. His level of involvement in the persecution of the Jews and his level of knowledge of the Holocaust remain matters of dispute. When Troost died on January 21, 1934, Speer effectively replaced him as the Party's chief architect. Hitler appointed Speer as head of the Chief Office for Construction, which placed him nominally on Hess's staff. One of Speer's first commissions after Troost's death was the Zeppelinfeld stadium—the Nürnberg parade grounds seen in Leni Riefenstahl's propaganda masterpiece Triumph of the Will. This huge work was capable of holding 340,000 people. The tribune was influenced by the Pergamon Altar in Anatolia, but was magnified to an enormous scale.[ Speer insisted that as many events as possible be held at night, both to give greater prominence to his lighting effects and to hide the individual Nazis, many of whom were overweight. Speer surrounded the site with 130 anti-aircraft searchlights. This created the effect of a "cathedral of light" or, as it was called by British Ambassador Sir Neville Henderson, a "cathedral of ice".[ Speer described this as his most beautiful work, and as the only one that stood the test of time.
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