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The case against Albert Speer: the mendacity, evasion and deception in his explanation of his Nazi past to his family and history

Holden, John Norman (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

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.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Wollaston, Isabel
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of Theology and Religion
Subjects:DD Germany
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:687
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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