One of the readers of my blog asked this in a comment: “So you think that [Albrect] Speer should be prosecuted for what he did? What did he do wrong?”
What did Albrect Speer do wrong? Part of what he did wrong was that he was Adolf Hitler’s best friend. Speer was guilty by association.
In 1933, the airfield called the Zeppelin Field, which was outside the Nuremberg city center, was first used for the annual Nazi party rally because it offered a huge space for party members to gather and listen to the nationalistic speeches of Hitler, the party leader.
According to Albert Speer, Hitler’s architect, in his Memoirs entitled Inside the Third Reich, the first Nazi Party Rally was held at the Zeppelin field in 1933, after Hitler was appointed Chancellor of the Reich.
As Hitler’s official architect, Speer was commissioned to design a temporary reviewing stand at the Zeppelin Field. He designed a gigantic eagle with a wingspread of over 100 feet. “I spiked it to a timber framework like a butterfly in a collection,” Speer wrote.
Speer wrote, in his autobiography, that he had designed the Tribüne at the Zeppelin Field so that it would still look beautiful even “after generations of neglect, overgrown with ivy, its columns fallen, the walls crumbling here and there, but the outlines still clearly recognizable.”
Speer was tried by the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg in 1945; he was convicted and served 20 years in Spandau prison for his part in the “common plan” of the Nazis to commit war crimes. Speer was the man in charge of the forced labor camps in Germany during the war. In a footnote in his book, Speer mentioned that the Palace of Justice was repaired, in preparation for the International Military Tribunal, by the forced labor of the defeated Germans.
In September 1938, the last peacetime rally had taken place at Nuremberg. This was the largest Nazi rally ever held; there were around 700,000 members of various Nazi organizations which took part in the festivities which lasted for a week.
On Saturday, September 10, 1938, over 800,000 members of the Hitler Youth marched into the Nuremberg stadium and performed military style maneuvers which they had been practicing for a whole year. In the grand finale, they spelled out the name Adolf Hitler. Hitler gave a speech in which he said, “You, my youth, are our nation’s most precious guarantee for a great future, and you are destined to be the leaders of a glorious new order under the supremacy of National Socialism. Never forget that one day you will rule the world.”
As it turned out, Germany does not rule the world. The Germans are now ruled by the Jews, who have come back to live in Germany.