Albert Speer is one of history’s most significant figures in Germany leading up to and during WW2, due to his significant involvement at the highest level of the Nazi Party. His architectural involvement leads him to join the Nazi party where he was noticed for his ability, and became Hitler’s architect. He was later appointed as the minister of armaments. His complex personality and manipulative nature was revealed during the Nuremberg Trials, apolitical man from when he joined the party on the 1st of March 1931. Many historians have debated as to whether he had involvement with the politics of the party and his level of guilt.
During His attendance at a mass meeting where he heard Hitler speak in December 1933, Speer stated he was captivated by every word, as a result of which he enthusiastically joined the party. The persuasiveness of Hitler’s voice bewildered Speer “He had taken a hold of me before I had grasped what was happening” – Inside the Third Reich. Speer justified his decision to join the Nazi party because he had to choose between Communism and Nazism as Germany was in a period of political and social collapse. For Speer to advance in the Nazi party after March 1933 Karl Hanke’s support was essential, although Speer alleged he was never interested in the politics of the party- only the ambition to create his career as an architect.
During his early years within the party Speer was placed to redecorate the headquarters of Goebbels (minster of propaganda), Paul Troost was Hitler’s main architect when Speer was commissioned. After the headquarters were finished Hitler inspected the work and loved what Speer had don, so he placed him under Troost to develop his skills. In 1934 after Troost passed away Speer became Hitler’s main architect, being commissioned to design the parade grounds of Nuremberg in 1934, Tempelhof fields for military training, and the rebuilding of Berlin (GERMANIA) in 1936 which was never accomplished due to the outbreak of World War Two. It was crucial that Speer was friendly with Hitler in order to gain prestige and trying to get ahead while involved with the party, Hitler found that he could confide in Speer “your husband is going to erect building for me such as have not been created for a thousand years” speaking to Gretel Speer about his ambitions for Speer’s work. A great organiser that thrived when under pressure to complete his architectural projects, Speer’s great architectural achievements were rewarded in 1937 with his appointment as the Inspector General of Construction for the Reich Capital (GBI). This gave him extensive power, becoming Hitler’s direct subordinate – other politicians had no control over him (Goebbels, the mayor of Germany). Thus, his power status rose from being reliant on Hitler to his own political status.
On The 21st of March a decree was pasted giving Speer unlimited power, a political skill which reveals his power to manipulate and control the other leaders. His appointment as the Minister of Armaments and Munitions in 1942 after Fritz Todt (the pervious minster) had been killed in a plane accident, was Speer’s most senior post in the Nazi regime. Todt’s organisation controlled the huge range of engineering projects. Speer now had access to production and the transport and he had the final authority of raw materials and industrial production. In order to have the ability for other leaders to abide with Speer’s wishes for the production of armaments he still needed to be fully backed by Hitler so no one would question his decisions to achieve this goal. His appointment as the minister showed political skills in order to produce the armaments needed, Speer lacked the workers to achieve this goal. By employing slave labourers supplied primarily from the concentration camps to maintained the production of war material, Fritz Sacukel helped Speer get these workers-thereby improving armaments and essential production which prolonged the war. Using the Prisoners of War as workers was illegal under the jurisdiction of the Treaty Of Versailles. The position of Minster of armaments was the main factor towards Speer’s rise of prominence by having the political status in the Nazi party gave Speer that reputation as well.