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Thread: Speer in Spandau

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    While imprisoned in Spandau prison from 1946 to 1966, former German armaments minister Albert Speer is supposed to have written and smuggled out the 20,000 sheets of paper which were to become his book "Inside the Third Reich".

    The conditions at Spandau were extraordinarily harsh. One visit of 30 minutes duration per month with a family member was the only contact with the outside world permitted. During these visits, no physical contact was permitted, and visitors were monitored by representatives of all four Allied powers as well as at least two guards. Control of the prison alternated between the four powers. Prisoners were given enough paper to write one letter per month, and all paper was recorded and tracked. Under these circumstance, I just can't see any way that it would have been possible for him to write and smuggle out his book. I am convinced that he must have made some deal with the Allied powers, but I have no idea what for.


    One other thing I've been wondering about in Spandau, did any of the other "war criminals" who were released from Spandau ever mention anything about Hess viz. his reasons for going to England, whether he had Hitler's permission etc.?
    Last edited by Germaid; Friday, July 20th, 2012 at 10:40 AM. Reason: two consecutive posts merged

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    From my copy of Inside The Third Reich:

    They had to be written clandestinely, often on scraps of paper or sheets torn from the rolls used by the prison painters, and hidden behind a book Speer pretended to be reading as he lay on his cot. They were smuggled out of Spandau by one of the prison staff, a Dutchman, who had himself been a slave labourer.
    And wikipedia.

    Every day, prisoners were ordered to rise at 06:00 hours, wash, clean their cells and the corridor together, eat breakfast, stay in the garden until lunch-time at noon (weather permitting), have a post-lunch rest in their cells, then return to the garden. Supper followed at 17:00 hours, after which the prisoners were returned to their cells. Lights out was at 22:00 hours. Prisoners received a shave and a haircut, if necessary, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday; they did their own laundry every Monday. This routine, except the time allowed in the garden, changed very little throughout the years, although each of the controlling nations made their own interpretation of the prison regulations.

    Within a few years of their arrival at the prison, all sorts of illicit lines of communication with the outside world were opened for the inmates by sympathetic staff. These supplementary lines were free of the censorship placed on authorised communications, and were also virtually unlimited in volume. Every piece of paper given to the prisoners was recorded and tracked, so secret letters were most often written on toilet paper, whose supply went unmonitored for the entire duration of the prison's existence. Many inmates took full advantage of this illegal privilege. Albert Speer, after having his official request to write his memoirs denied, finally began setting down his experiences and perspectives of his time with the Nazi regime, which were smuggled out and later released as a bestselling book, Inside the Third Reich. Dönitz wrote letters to his former deputy regarding the protection of his prestige in the outside world. When his release was near, he gave instructions to his wife on how best she could help ease his transition back into politics, which he intended, but never actually accomplished. Funk managed to obtain a seemingly constant supply of cognac (all alcohol was banned) and other treats that he would share with other prisoners on special occasions.

    All prisoners feared the month during which the Soviets took command; the Russians were much stricter in their enforcement of prison regulations and offered poorer quality meals. Each nation in charge would bring its own cook and, in the American, French, and British months, feed the prisoners better than regulations allowed. The Soviets would offer an unchanging diet of coffee, bread, soup, and potatoes. This rigidity was primarily due to the much-loathed Soviet director, who perpetually enforced these measures and whom Russian and Western guards alike feared and despised. Until this director's sudden removal in the early 1960s, the 'Soviet month' was dreaded. Afterward, matters, including diet, were improved.

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    I've read that, but it still seems so unlikely. The book (and his diary) were so large and written over such a long period that I can't imagine how they would not have been found out, especially with the rotating administration which would seem to disrupt any routine he built up. Speer himself writes of daily cell searches.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ampersand View Post
    I've read that, but it still seems so unlikely. The book (and his diary) were so large and written over such a long period that I can't imagine how they would not have been found out, especially with the rotating administration which would seem to disrupt any routine he built up. Speer himself writes of daily cell searches.
    There is a worldly explanation : He was "allowed" to write his notices on highest order, kind of the same nature as his Nuremberg sentence was.

    Bring a Fairy Tale about Hitler that serves Allied propaganda, and your sentence is lowered from death by rope to prison. In Speers case the tale is clearly the supposed "Nero Decree" that he claims Hitler gave him, and that he Speer did not follow the order to execute. There is however the problem that the decree makes no sense whatsoever, especially when it was supposedly given (March 1945) because 80% of the infrastructure had been already already destroyed by Anglo-Allied air bombarded. Thereby this tale would fullfill the stereotypical (in the Nuremberg Tribunal) "blaming Allied crimes on Hitler." (Katyn, Vinnitza are two other examples). It is thereby right
    on line with the so-called Gleiwitz incident myth. The guy who "confessed" that one (e.g. fabricated it, Alfred Naujok) got not only off from the hook (if that one had really happened he would been hanged for sure), but also later in the year released.

    The other problem with Speer's Nero-Decree spin is that no-one else out of Hitler's staff and administration ever received it, nor is there any document, telex or Fuhrer-Order.

    Speer would have been hanged if not for inviting this stuff. Instead the Allies hung up Speer's deputy Dr. Ing. Karl-Otto Sauer. Under normal circumstances they would hang first Speer, then Sauer.

    And the same kind of "backdoor deal" took likely place with writing his memoirs. Allied condition likely was : Play the remorseful Nazi , invite some fiction to back our cause and you are allowed to not only write but we will find ways to smuggle it out to your ghostwriter Joachim C. Fest.

    Auch Fests Speer-Biografie, die er 1999 veröffentlicht, wird viel beachtet. Fest hatte Speer nach dessen Haftentlassung 1966 als Ghostwriter bei der Niederschrift der Memoiren zur Seite gestanden. Nun beschreibt er Hitlers Architekten und Rüstungsminister als unpolitischen Künstler und Manager.
    http://www1.wdr.de/themen/archiv/sti...chtag6170.html

    Fest is best known for his Hitler biography and the film "Hitler - a German career" a UK-FRG co-production produced by EMI in London.

    And it was Fest who wrote "Inside the Third Reich-by Albert Speer" based on Speer's handwritten notes on toilet paper (according to the legend).

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    Quote Originally Posted by MCP3 View Post
    There is however the problem that the decree makes no sense whatsoever, especially when it was supposedly given (March 1945) because 80% of the infrastructure had been already already destroyed by Anglo-Allied air bombarded.
    That leaves 20% left for the Allies used when advancing. You do understand the point of a scorched earth policy, right?

    And on Speer inventing the order? He would have no need to since there was witness statements of Hitler verbally instructing him of what would have to be done, and documents of Borman's orders to carry out scorched earth policies.

    Speer would have been hanged if not for inviting this stuff. Instead the Allies hung up Speer's deputy Dr. Ing. Karl-Otto Sauer.
    Sauer was not hung. he was released and died in the 60s.

    If Speer lied it was his assassination attempt claims, his attempts to disguise knowledge of certain things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MCP3 View Post
    Speer would have been hanged if not for inviting this stuff. Instead the Allies hung up Speer's deputy Dr. Ing. Karl-Otto Sauer. Under normal circumstances they would hang first Speer, then Sauer.
    Did you mean Sauckel? Certainly Speer should have been hung if Sauckel was.

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    Sauckel did not work under Speer. He worked directly from Hitler for the charges he was found guilty of.

    Indictments

    Count One: Conspiracy to Wage Aggressive War

    This count helped address the crimes committed before the war began, showing a plan to commit crimes during the war.

    Count Two: Waging Aggressive War, or "Crimes Against Peace"

    Including “the planning, preparation, initiation, and waging of wars of aggression, which were also wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances.”

    Count Three: War Crimes
    These were the more “traditional” violations of the law of war including treatment of prisoners of war, slave labor, and use of outlaws weapons.

    Count Four: Crimes Against Humanity
    This count involved the actions in concentration camps and other death rampages.


    Fritz Sauckel
    Count I: Indicted Not Guilty
    Count II: Indicted Not Guilty
    Count III: Indicted Guilty
    Count IV: Indicted Guilty

    Sentenced to: Death by hanging

    Sauckel was instrumental in the use of slave labor. The evidence overwhelmingly showed Sauckel established labor service in Germany, to which more than 5.000.000 people were subjected. He is quoted as saying “out of five million foreign workers who arrived in Germany not even 200,000 came voluntarily”.

    Albert Speer
    Count I: Indicted Not Guilty
    Count II: Indicted Not Guilty
    Count III: Indicted Guilty
    Count IV: Indicted Guilty

    Sentenced to: Twenty years imprisonment

    Speer was Hitler’s personal architect and a personal friend. He also held important positions in the Nazi party. The evidence did not show him as a participant in the plans for war. He was, however, extremely active in the slave labor program. His defense was that he used these laborers only because the demand for labor was so great. He was known to ensure the laborers had food and sufficient work conditions so their work was effective. He also condoned the use of concentration camps for “slackers”.
    To me it looks like Albert Speer got a lesser sentence due to his lesser involvement in the organisation of the slave labour. The fact he made sure that food and work conditions were sufficient would have also went in his favour. Even though this was apparently just to make sure the work was efficient.

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