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Albert Speer : his battle with truth

Author: Gitta Sereny
Publisher: New York : Knopf, 1995.
Edition/Format:   Book : Biography : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Gitta Sereny first saw Albert Speer on trial at Nuremberg. Over the last years of his life she came to know him - through hundreds of hours of conversations - as no other biographer has known a Nazi leader. She interviewed as well the people around him - the celebrated, the notorious and the ordinary. Speer gave Sereny, for her use, a number of unpublished manuscripts, and after his death she obtained access to many
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Genre/Form: Biography
Biographies
Named Person: Albert Speer; Albert Speer; Albert (Architekt 1905-1981) Speer
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Gitta Sereny
ISBN: 0394529154 9780394529158
OCLC Number: 30671256
Awards: James Tait Black Memorial Prize for biography, 1995.
Description: xiv, 757 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
Responsibility: Gitta Sereny.
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Abstract:

Gitta Sereny first saw Albert Speer on trial at Nuremberg. Over the last years of his life she came to know him - through hundreds of hours of conversations - as no other biographer has known a Nazi leader. She interviewed as well the people around him - the celebrated, the notorious and the ordinary. Speer gave Sereny, for her use, a number of unpublished manuscripts, and after his death she obtained access to many of his papers. Out of her probings a huge, and hugely alive, portrait emerges. Sereny takes us through the emotional desert of Speer's childhood and marriage, through his embrace (basically, she demonstrates, for nonideological reasons) of the Nazi Party and his service as Minister of Armaments and Munitions, during which his brutal use of slave labor extended a lost war. She superbly portrays the circles in which Speer functioned: the ambivalent General Staff and the infinitely peculiar and nightmarish upper echelons of Nazism.

We see Speer accused of war crimes at Nuremberg, and during his twenty years in Spandau prison, struggling to accept individual responsibility for his actions. Throughout, in person or in memory, Hitler is startlingly present, his friendship with Speer bordering on love. Sereny shows us Speer as inveterate schemer, as spectacular planner and maneuverer. We see him also as unique among Hitler's men in the integrity of his battle with conscience. His progress from moral blindness through moral self-education to a torturous coming-to-terms with his own acts - this is the elemental matter at the heart of a book that stunningly illuminates the man, the war, the Third Reich, the Nazi mind and the complex comingling, in one person or society, of good and evil.

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