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If you are interested in Albert Speer this is unmissable
on 31 July 2012
I would not necessarily recommend this book for people interested in or in Second World War or the Nazi Party. If you are interested in the life of Albert Speer and his `battle with the truth' you will however find this book hard to put down.
I would definitely recommend reading this book after you have read `Inside the Third Reich' by Speer. Inside the Third Reich is primarily about the governance of Germany under Hitler, as the title suggests. Although Speer looks into aspects of his own morality and the part he played in Hitler's regime this is not the real aim of that book.
The Spandau Diaries, written while Speer was incarcerated in Spandau Prison between 1947 and 1966, are far more unvarnished, due to their nature as journal entries. They delineate the battle of a man with loneliness and someone who I believe struggled to accept his place in history. From my limited architectural understanding if it had not been for his unique relationship with Adolf Hitler his architectural work would have been sound, but would never have made it into any history book.
Throughout his diaries Speer looks back at the past and remincies about moments with Hitler and some of the key decisions that were made in his presence. This is not the strength of this book though. This is a chance to get inside the mind of Albert Speer that the more varnished transcript of Inside the Third Reich does not offer.
The truth is that despite the excellent works like Albert Speer: His Battle with the Truth by the late Gitta Sereny we will never truly know how complicit Speer was in the greatest crimes of the Third Reich. This book however, along with other studies, has helped me to make up my own mind. Speer is truly a fascinating character and this book, if you are interested in his life, you have to read.