The following article will be published as the cover story in the upcoming April/May issue of History Magazine.
“The previous leadership of the German nation bears a collective guilt for the fate that now hangs over the German people. Each member of that leadership must personally assume his responsibility in such a way that the guilt which might otherwise descend upon the German people is expiated.” ~Albert Speer, writing to Johann Schwerin von Krosigk, the chairman of the ministerial cabinet in 1945~
Albert Speer is known to history as both “the Devil’s architect” and “the Nazi who said sorry.” These two conflicting monikers would appear to suggest Speer was a willing participant in the plans of Adolf Hitler – that is, until he realized the war was lost for Germany and tried to distance himself from the dictator. However, the truth is far more complicated than the simple notion that Speer tried to save his own skin by turning on Hitler at his hour of need.
It’s a rare thing for society to be granted unlimited access to historical events that would have, arguably, remained shrouded in secrecy had they not been documented in a memoir. When Speer sat down to write his story while incarcerated in Spandau Prison, he set out to reveal the whole truth – both the highs and lows in his remarkably rapid rise from architecture student to one of Hitler’s most trusted companions.