Holden, John Norman (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
Restricted to Repository staff only until 21 August 2035.
Albert Speer, Hitler’s armaments minister, claimed before the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg and in correspondence with his daughter Hilde, that whilst he was Hitler’s only friend: (a) he was apolitical, (b) had known nothing about the genocide of the Jews and Nazi atrocities, (c) in the final months of the war had risked telling Hitler that the war was lost, (d) sought to thwart Hitler’s Scorched Earth program, and, (e) planned to assassinate Hitler. In answer to Hilde’s question about his involvement with the Nazis – “How can an intelligent person have any part in something like this?” Speer’s reply provided the framework for this thesis, and for the research process using the techniques of the Historical Method to examine and analyse primary documentary sources. The conclusions reached from this research are that: (a) Speer supported the politics and ideology of the Nazis, and (b) colluded in the genocide of the Jews and the perpetration of Nazi atrocities. As a part of his ‘exit’ strategy from the Nazi debacle, Speer: (c) exhorted Hitler to ‘fight on’, (d) used his attempt to thwart Hitler’s Scorched Earth programme to his own advantage, using it in his trial defence, and (e) used the assassination plot in his trial defence.
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