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Albert Speer Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (11)  | Personal Quotes (4)

Overview (4)

Born in Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Died in London, England, UK  (stroke)
Birth NameBerthold Konrad Hermann Albert Speer
Height 6' 0½" (1.84 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Albert Speer was born on March 19, 1905 in Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany as Berthold Konrad Hermann Albert Speer. He is known for his work on Wie aus der Ferne (2013), Inside the Third Reich (1982) and The Memory of Justice (1976). He was married to Margarethe Weber. He died on September 1, 1981 in London, England.

Spouse (1)

Margarethe Weber (1928 - 1 September 1981) ( his death) ( 6 children)

Trivia (11)

He became Adolf Hitler's Minister for Armaments after being his favorite architect and designing many famous Reich buildings. At the 1945-1946 war-crimes trial of Nazi leaders in Nuremberg, Speer was sentenced to 20 years in Berlin's Spandau prison for his complicity in Hitler's atrocities, and for his use of slave labor. Unlike his co-defendants, Speer readily accepted responsibility for crimes committed by a government in which he played a leading role, although he always denied knowing about the Holocaust even though he attended a speech on the subject by Heinrich Himmler in 1943.
At the Nuremberg Trials Speer claimed that after being given orders to implement "Operation Nero" (a plan to destroy everything of military, industrial or agricultural value in areas of Germany not overrun by the Allies) he attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler by introducing poison gas into the Berlin bunker. He said he failed due to both failed nerves and the placement of a strengthened filtering system. However Speer's claims were widely ridiculed by his co-defendants, and are dismissed by historians.
He was released from Spandau Prison in 1966, leaving Rudolf Hess as the only remaining inmate. He remained a prisoner there for another nineteen years, until he committed suicide on August 17, 1987 at the age of 93.
Was interviewed by "Playboy" magazine in 1971.
Was a friend of Leni Riefenstahl.
Is portrayed by Rutger Hauer in Inside the Third Reich (1982), Herbert Knaup in Nuremberg (2000), Heino Ferch in Downfall (2004) and Sebastian Koch in Speer und er (2005).
Father-in-law of Ingmar Zeisberg.
A letter he wrote in December 1971 confirmed he had known about the Holocaust during World War II. The letter was not discovered until after his death.
His books are considered highly unreliable as Speer was often the only living witness to events described.
Speer's insistence that he had left before the end of Posen speech, and had therefore known nothing about the Holocaust, probably spared him from execution after the Nuremberg trials.
In 2007, the British singer-songwriter Bryan Ferry revealed that he was a big fan of his buildings, along with Leni Riefenstahl's movies, during an interview by a German newspaper, but he subsequently apologized for any offense caused by his comments after they caused an uproar.

Personal Quotes (4)

[November 30, 1952] Whatever turn my life takes in the future, whenever my name is mentioned, people will think of Hitler. I shall never have an independent existence. And sometimes I see myself as a man of seventy, children long since adult and grandchildren growing up, and wherever I go people will not ask about me but about Hitler.
[May 4, 1965] Recently, in these days full of memories, I have considered how I would characterize Hitler today after the passage of twenty years. I think I am now less sure than I ever was. All reflection magnifies the difficulties, makes him more incomprehensible. Of course I have no doubts at all about the judgment of history. But I would not know how to describe the man himself. No doubt I could say that he was cruel, unjust, unapproachable, cold, capricious, self-pitying, and vulgar; and in fact he was all of those things. But at the same time he was also the exact opposite of almost all those things. He could be a solicitous paterfamilias, a generous superior, amiable, self-controlled, proud, and capable of enthusiasm for beauty and greatness. I can think of only two concepts that include all his character traits and that are the common denominator of all those many contradictory aspects: opaqueness and dishonesty. Today, in retrospect, I am completely uncertain when and where he was ever really himself, his image not distorted by playacting, tactical considerations, joy in lying. I could not even say what his feeling toward me actually was - whether he really liked me or merely thought how useful I could be to him.
[January 30, 1964] Thirty-one years ago today Hitler took power ... a few months later I met Hitler by chance. And from that moment on everything changed; my whole life was lived under a kind of high tension. Strange, how quickly I gave up everything that had been important to me up to then: private life with my family, my leanings, my principles of architecture. Yet I never had the feeling I was making a break, let alone betraying anything I cherished; rather the feeling was one of liberation and intensification, as though only then was I coming to my proper self. In the following period Hitler accorded me many triumphs, acquaintanceship with power and fame - but he also destroyed everything for me. Not only a life work as an architect and my good name, but above all my moral integrity. Condemned as a war criminal, robbed of my freedom for half a lifetime, and burdened with the permanent sense of guilt, I must in addition live in the awareness that I founded my whole existence on an error. ...

So then I ask myself: would I like to fall out of history? What does a place in it mean to me, slight though it may be? If thirty-one years ago today I had been confronted with the choice of leading a quiet and respected life as city engineer of Augsburg or Gottingen, with a house in the suburbs, two or three decent buildings done a year, and vacations with the family in Hahnenklee or Norderney - if I had been offered all that or else everything that has happened, the fame and the guilt, the world capital and Spandau, together with the feeling of a life gone awry - which would I choose? Would I be prepared to pay the price all over again? My head reels when I pose this question. I scarcely dare to ask it. Certainly I cannot answer it at all.
There is no doubt - I was present as Himmler announced on October 6 1943 that all Jews would be killed. Who would believe me that I suppressed this, that it would have been easier to have written all of this in my memoirs?

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