Inside the Third Reich Paperback – Apr 1 1997
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From 1946 to 1966, while serving the prison sentence handed down from the Nuremburg War Crimes tribunal, Albert Speer penned 1,200 manuscript pages of personal memoirs. Titled Erinnerungen ("Recollections") upon their 1969 publication in German, Speer's critically acclaimed personal history was translated into English and published one year later as Inside the Third Reich. Long after their initial publication, Speer's memoir continues to provide one of the most detailed and fascinating portrayals of life within Hitler's inner circles, the rise and fall of the third German empire, and of Hitler himself.
Speer chronicles his entire life, but the majority of Inside the Third Reich focuses on the years between 1933 and 1945, when Speer figured prominently in Hitler's government and the German war effort as Inspector General of Buildings for the Renovation of the Federal Capital and later as Minister of Arms and Munitions. Speer's recollections of both duties foreground the impossibility of reconciling Hitler's idealistic, imperialistic ambitions with both architectural and military reality. Throughout, Inside the Third Reich remains true to its author's intentions. With compelling insight, Speer reveals many of the "premises which almost inevitably led to the disasters" of the Third Reich as well as "what comes from one man's holding unrestricted power in his hands." -- Bertina Loeffler
About the Author
Winston was born in Minneapolis. He was educated at the Northup School and Folwell Junior High School. California became the family's home in 1959 and in 1962 he graduated from Glendale High. Later he attended San Jose State University and San Francisco State University, which awarded him a bachelor's degree in Semiotics in 1976. Between San Jose State and San Francisco State, he went to sea with the U.S. Seventh Fleet during the Vietnam conflict, serving as a deck-seaman and quartermaster for about 26 months.
Eugene Davidson is the author of numerous books, including The Death and Life of Germany, The Making of Adolf Hitler, The Trial of the Germans, and The Nuremberg Fallacy, all available from the University of Missouri Press. President Emeritus of the Conference on European Problems and former President of the Foundation for Foreign Affairs, Davidson lived in Santa Barbara, California, until his death at the age of ninety-nine.
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Top Customer Reviews
Just after Christmas in 1979 I went to see Speer at his Heidelberg home in West Germany. I had gone to interview him for BBC radio. The trip was carried out in secret. Only a couple of BBC managers, who approved the enterprise, knew what I was doing. And I told no-one until the programmes were broadcast. I went alone - no companions, or production team - just me and Speer alone in his Heidelberg study with a tape recorder running. I met him four times, recording long interviews for six half-hour programmes called "The Hitler Years". You can hear extracts on the BBC website.
So why did "Inside the Third Reich" make such an impression and make me want to meet its author? Because the book changed the way I thought about Hitler. It was the first I'd read that made Hitler seem a plausible human being. Some people say this is wrong. They argue anything that humanises Hitler is improper. He was a monster. All that matters are his crimes.
The trouble with this argument is that it makes Hitler impossible to understand - just a raving lunatic who gormless Germans - not intelligent people like us! - mindlessly followed. But Hitler was more subtle and intelligent than people allow - an evil genius with a surprising amount of twisted knowledge, well read and an extensive interest in the arts. His only weapons to begin with were his voice - he was highly articulate and persuasive - and a superhuman will-power. Hitler claimed he was the greatest actor in Europe. One of his adjutants said even in private it was impossible to tell when he was acting, or sincere. The performance was flawless. He was very convincing.Read more ›
The book spans Speer’s formative years, but mostly focuses on his absorption into the Nazi party up until the end of the Second World War, also touching on his time on trial and in prison. Speer describes his increasing proximity to high-ranking and obscenely wealthy Nazis, and the relationships between them. He speaks about the grotesquely grandiose palaces he builds and spends his time in, and he talks about the scandals and backstabbing going on between rivals in the party. In the end, he paints the Nazi government almost like a mafia crime-thriller, with almost everyone conspiring against one another in order to secure higher and higher positions in the pecking order. Speer writes extensively on his impressions of Hitler throughout his collaboration with him, which is easily the highlight of the story.Read more ›
The story that Speer relates here of his life and career in the Third Reich, first as Hitler's architect, and later as the Minister for Armaments and War Production (1942-1945) is gripping and compelling. You get a real, tangible sense of what the people (e.g. Goering, Hess, Himmler, Goebbels, Bormann, etc.) were like who played key roles in Nazi Germany.
This memoir does not read like a dry retelling of historical events. You feel yourself a witness to an unfolding drama of deceit, treachery, genocide, and war in the heart of the Third Reich. All of these events may seem incredible as Speer describes them. But they happened, and in reading "INSIDE THE THIRD REICH", you see how it was that Germany was led down the path to destruction by its political leadership.
At some point my eye wandered away from my section and spotted a huge black volume with a swastika on the side. I pulled it out and read the cover; 'The memoirs of Albert Speer.'
"Albert Speer," I thought. "Wasn't he Hitler's architect?" And sure enough, he was. I knelt down on the floor and read the first page. It was fascinating. So I read a little more, until I had finished the first chapter. My knees were getting tired, and I was losing circulation to my feet, so I pulled up a little stool and sat down. I held the book in my hands and held my hands up by propping my elbows on my knees. I read the second chapter. And the third.
Then I flipped forward to the illustrations in the middle. They were magnificent. I was completely enthralled.
'Inside the Third Reich' was full of madness and power. But it was written by someone whose mind was clear. It was written by the man who designed the gas chambers in Auschwitz; but whom somehow people still consider "the good nazi." A man who was close personal friends with Adolf Hitler.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Those who buy this will probably need no explanation of the valuable insight it provides into Hitler's Germany.Published 4 months ago by Frank McLaughlin
This autobiography will forever change your perception of WWII. I have a warning for any prospective reader of the book; be prepared to have your jaw hit the ground. Read morePublished on Dec 18 2012 by Patrick Sullivan
I found the book really interesting and it gives me a close look at what Hitler was for real. Written by someone who look honest and that must be really hard to find among all... Read morePublished on Aug. 14 2012 by Benoit Audet
I have read about a third of this book so far and have found it to provide a perspective I have never been exposed to regarding the early years of Hitler and his rule in Germany. Read morePublished on Sept. 30 2011 by D. Hidlebaugh
This book is a June 2011 birthday gift. I am sure it will be appreciated by my Birthday Girl.Published on Nov. 6 2010 by Ducky
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