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Customer Review

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why did they do that?, 8 Oct. 2010
This review is from: Albert Speer: His Battle With Truth (Paperback)
A thoroughly deceptive book that strolls relentlessly throughout its quest as it stalks its prey. Gitta takes a relational wander down to the long silent empty corridors of Spandau. Speaking through the metal shutters tot he man pacing the room she finally becomes his confidante, gaining his trust so he can gradually see the point in finally revealing himself to free himself.

The reviewers who state they want to understand why people followed Adolf perhaps cannot see what Gitta has unravelled. Of course she uses "I." This is not a po faced attempt at a "rational" detached observation as if such a thing could ever exist. This is the subtle building of bridges to gain a glimpse into what lies inside a man who became the architect of the new Germania. Firstly she had to create the trust bonds as this man was Fortress Speer.

It was through this gradual process Albert finally eroded his concrete thick wells of self restraint, deception and belief finaly he felt confident to begin to shed his layers of psychological torment. The armour he had built to protect whatever lay within perhaps his inner child kept encased and walled within the thick layers?

The final chapter shows Albert finally freeing himself from the shackles of eternal duty and the belief in expectation. Finally living his life as though he was in charge rather than supplicating himself to his sacred duty.

For those who want the message delivered loud and clear read Klaus Theweleit's "Male fantasies volumes 1 and 2." P180 of Gitta's book provides a clear outline of one fundamental cause of the German crisis; "the collapse in the economy fuelling the hatred of the German class system. National Socialism offered a viable alternative and many former communists swelled its ranks to achieve a form of Bolshevism in one nation following the Strassers."

Speer was left emotionally cold by his family and brutalised at school. National Socialism provided the virtual family for a man without social relationships. At the end of the war he could just as easily shed his former comrades and exist within a prison doing his world tour as he could rebuilding Neu Deutschland. Albert forever lived inside his head. The years spent in solitary would have decimated a man who had connections to the outside world, Gitta was a lifeline, a confessor, she allowed him to have a psychological rebirth.

Albert as shown in the "Mask of Sanity", functioned as a semi automaton, trapped in emotional paralysis, asperbergers without the label, highly functioning but operating with complete amnesia about the effects of his actions. Gitta strips away the layers of pretence, his existential defences to breach his walls.

Finally he admits he was aware of the slave labour, the countless deaths. Whilst Stangl's organs dissolved upon his self realisation, the participation in one of the most horrendous acts ever, Speer ascends and finally frees himself from his self imposed inner sentence. He runs away with a young woman leaving his duty, wife and children behind.

Whether this was an upstanding moral choice or a simple retreat back to the turmoil of adolescence which he appeared to bypass is not for my judgement. Speer finally found a form of happiness in confronting himself. This is Gitta's greatest gift.

She goes at it like a tenacious bulldog, getting him to admit his deeds. Reviewers may question her piety, her unremitting stance. It is because the social masks people wear and the fronts they perform deflect the greater questions and erect the barriers to the existential dread of their childhoods and adult deeds. These people were mass killers who have created vast fictions to throw off the enquirer. They require belief on behalf of the adherents in these mass fictions to sustain themselves. The alternative, the fact they were duped and they duped others is just too awful to contemplate, the fact they lived a life that was entirely fraudulent. Gitta shines a beacon into this pretence that only the emotionally literate will be able to understand.

The rest just shudder, looking puzzled they ask; Why did they do that?
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