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Inside the Third Reich

194 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0923891732
ISBN-10: 0923891730
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Editorial Reviews Review

From 1946 to 1966, while serving the prison sentence handed down from the Nuremburg War Crimes tribunal, Albert Speer penned 1,200 manuscript pages of personal memoirs. Titled Erinnerungen ("Recollections") upon their 1969 publication in German, Speer's critically acclaimed personal history was translated into English and published one year later as Inside the Third Reich. Long after their initial publication, Speer's memoir continues to provide one of the most detailed and fascinating portrayals of life within Hitler's inner circles, the rise and fall of the third German empire, and of Hitler himself.

Speer chronicles his entire life, but the majority of Inside the Third Reich focuses on the years between 1933 and 1945, when Speer figured prominently in Hitler's government and the German war effort as Inspector General of Buildings for the Renovation of the Federal Capital and later as Minister of Arms and Munitions. Speer's recollections of both duties foreground the impossibility of reconciling Hitler's idealistic, imperialistic ambitions with both architectural and military reality. Throughout, Inside the Third Reich remains true to its author's intentions. With compelling insight, Speer reveals many of the "premises which almost inevitably led to the disasters" of the Third Reich as well as "what comes from one man's holding unrestricted power in his hands." -- Bertina Loeffler --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Language Notes

Text: English, German (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 676 pages
  • Publisher: Ishi (January 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0923891730
  • ISBN-13: 978-0923891732
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (194 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,315,450 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

309 of 312 people found the following review helpful By Chaz Jaz on November 22, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Inside the Third Reich is a "must read" book for anyone interested in World War II or Nazi Germany. As Hitler's Minster of Armament and War Production, Albert Speer's memoirs provide firsthand information on the German leadership and war efforts during this period. The book covers events from his early childhood to his imprisonment in Spandau Prison, as a Nazi war criminal. In the course of telling his own story, Speer also provides valuable insights into other key players in Nazi regime, such as Adolf Hitler, Hermann Goering, Martin Borman, Karl Doenitz, Joseph Goebbels, Rudolf Hess, Heinrich Himmler, and many other high-ranking Nazi leaders.
Albert Speer served under Adolf Hitler for over 14 year and was one of Hitler's closest associates during most of that period. As Speer testified at Nuremberg, "If Hitler had had any friends, I would certainly been one of his close friends." Speer initially served as one of Hitler's architects and later as the Minister of Armament and War Production. Sharing a passion for design and architecture, Speer quickly impressed Hitler after completing several projects in record time. In the pre-war period, Hitler was obsessed with constructing monumental builds that would characterize Germany as the great "1,000 year Reich" that he envisioned. Having proven his ability to successfully manage complex projects, Speer used these same talents to make himself indispensable as the head of all Germany armament and production efforts in support of the war. Many of the principles he used over fifty years ago, are very similar to the quality initiatives used today. Sharing a passion for architecture and proving his management acumen, Speer was quickly accepted to Hitler's inner circle.
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85 of 89 people found the following review helpful By anonymous on December 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
--October 2014. Since writing this review, I have re-read Gitta Sereny's brilliant biography of Speer. I've read it several times actually. And it seems to me one cannot fully appreciate what's going on in Speer's memoirs until one has fully absorbed Sereny's book. Each is required reading for the other--

I've lived with Speer's memoirs now for what? over 30 years. I've read them numerous times. I can never tell when it's time to do it again. A repeat viewing of HBO's "Conspiracy" prompted my latest re-reading.

I come away from Speer's memoirs with some difficult, complex feelings. Speer seems so utterly detached from everything, and most of all from his own psychology, that reading his memoirs can sometimes inspire a kind of vertigo.

Those times when he seems close to revealing something genuinely authentic, he often sounds like a child or adolescent. This was most evident in his description of his illness during the war, when he was almost sidelined for good, and had to engage in some serious intrigue in order to keep his position. The combination of acute political acumen, and childlike frustration he displays is quite peculiar, and it pays to read that part of the book with great care.

The book is written very clearly and beautifully. Speer consistently captures the dramatic immediacy of his life and times. Still, the cameos of various Nazi leaders are just that: snapshots that seldom create a whole being. This aspect of the book is like looking at a scrapbook of photographs with short captions. We seldom get any real insight into these people. Just as Speer had little insight into himself during the period he is describing.
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77 of 81 people found the following review helpful By K. Jump on August 13, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is probably the most famous of all WWII memoirs, and in many ways this is perfectly justified. Albert Speer, Hitler's architect and Minister of Armaments, wrote this book during his 20-year prison term following the Nuremburg trials. Speer's reflections on his own absorbtion into the Nazi regime and the unfolding of the greatest war in history reveal the men who ruled Nazi Germany with general sincerity and enlightening insight. Goering, Goebbles, Himmler, Bormann, and even Eva Braun are each highlighted by Speer's keen evaluations, and for the most part found wanting. Hitler himself emerges from Speer's portrait as a man whose megalomania was always clear to anyone who cared to notice, but whose sheer charisma and force of will swept the German people inexorably into the inferno. Speer takes much of the blame for Germany's war effort, and admits that he and his cohorts, even if personally ignorant of Hitler's concentration camps, were nonetheless accomplices in crime. The book does demand some historical awareness on the reader's part, as Speer focuses mainly on the rather closed-in, often literally subterranean world of the Nazi leadership, so that references to important military events often come with little or no elaboration--Speer apparently assumed his readers would already be well acquainted with the historical record, and this is required for a full appreciation of his text. Though undoubtedly subjective, Speer's memoirs remain the most powerful and educational work on the inner workings of Nazism ever published. Highly recommended to all students of military/political history.
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