Albert Speer was one of few Nazis to live beyond the fall of Hitler's Third Reich, and one of even fewer to be repatriated into decent society after his imprisonment. The twenty years served in Spandau military prison, gave Speer an opportunity to reflect on the events of the past decade of Nazism and his own involvement and responsibility for actions of the party.
In 1931 Speer heard Adolf Hitler addressing college students at a beer hall. Although initially sceptical of Hitler's reputation and his rough followers, the enthusiasm of the crowd, Hitler's reputation and his rough followers, the enthusiasm of the crowd, Hitler's respectable and calm appearance and the historical lecture he delivered impressed Speer immensely. Within weeks he joined the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) and shortly after became a member of the Schutz Staffeinel (SS).
His first commission as a Party member came in 1933 when Joseph Goebbels asked him to renovate the Propaganda Ministry.
Goebbels was impressed with his work and recommended him to Hitler, who assigned him to help Paul Troost renovate the Chancellery in Berlin.
The year 1933 marked a turning point for Albert Speer. No longer just a promising architect, he assumed a role where his actions and advice could arguably have changed the political direction Germany was taking. He was in constant and close contact with Hitler, often eating lunch and dinner with him. Hitler avoided cultivating similar friendships with party leaders such as Goering and Hess as he was suspicious of their motives. Speer later wrote, "there were very few persons beside myself who had been so favoured. Hitler had undoubtedly taken a special liking to me. If Hitler had actually had friends, I would certainly have been one of his closest."
Speer's prominence as a member of Hitler's inner...