31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Behind the Scenes,
This review is from: Inside The Third Reich (Paperback)
This is a very interesting volume, written by someone who, for most of WWII, was second only to Hitler in terms of importance in Nazi Germany. Speer must have been a man of great talent and industry in order to accomplish what he did, even in the last months of the conflict: as well as managing to increase output of munitions to unprecedented levels, as the end closed in, he was also determined to prevent the implementation of the scorched earth policy which would have left post-war Germany in a state of utter annihilation. The fact that the country was able to recover so well and quickly afterwards must, in large part, be down to his efforts.
I found the book engrossing and very easy to read. At the start, it's a bit heavy on architecture, but that's what animated Hitler and Speer in the early days. There is a load of information about many of the main characters in the regime, about the continual back-biting and intriguing. There's not a lot about the fighting, although what little there is is interesting.
After the end, Speer writes about being staggered on hearing the details of the concentration camps. Earlier he wrote that Hanke, a friend and Gauleiter of Upper Silesia, had warned Speer never to visit a camp there because he had "seen something that he was not allowed to describe and indeed could not describe". Rather chilling.
First class read.