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Spandau: The Secret Diaries

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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  475 ratings  ·  33 reviews
He served as Hitler's architect, the undisputed master of the German war machine, and the one responsible for conscripted foreign labor in the Third Reich. And, when Albert Speer was captured and sentenced at Nuremberg -- after becoming the only defendant to plead guilty -- he started keeping this secret diary, much of it on toilet paper. After 20 years of imprisonment, he ...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published December 31st 2000 by Phoenix (first published 1975)
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Veni Johanna
Mar 19, 2011 Veni Johanna rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: history enthusiast
Simply one of the most fascinating book I have ever read, for three reasons:

1) Speer's position as one of Hitler's closest confidante is clear in this piece - his recollections on Hitler are wonderfully vivid and personal, mostly in casual settings, stripped from Goebbels' oratory languages. He provides insight on Hitler beyond historical facts and figures, but on the man itself, portraying the Fuhrer truly as a person with strong emotions, fears and flaws. The most interesting Hitler story for
...more
Davida
Dec 17, 2010 Davida rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All WWII history buffs
Shelves: favourites
This book should not be missed by readers who enjoy the history of WWII and its protagonists.

It is the secret diary of Albert Speer, written on scraps of paper, mostly toilet paper, during his 20 year imprisonment in Spandau Prison, following the judgement handed by the International Military Tribunal at the Nuremberg Trials in 1946.

The book was edited and published in 1975 almost ten years after his release, because as he himself acknowledges in the introduction to the diary, he could not bri
...more
Garry
The single most thought-provoking book I have ever read and re-read. If I am ever asked to recommend a book, this is the one I suggest. While Speer may be less than totally honest in this book, he nonetheless wrestles openly and forthrightly with his guilt, his conscience, his role in history, his time in prison, and more.
Gerry
This book was actually published in 1976 and after “Inside the Third Reich” (1970) and this had followed his first attempt entitled Erinnerungen ("Recollections") in 1966.

My Opinion: I found parts of this difficult, but at the same time very humanistic. We see Speer, a cultured man tormented in the early days of imprisonment first at Nuremburg, then transferred to Spandau in the summer of 1947 transfixed on all that has occurred to him. Speer became Minister of Armaments and War Production when
...more
Anton Klink
Although Albert Speer wasn't among the absolute innermost circle of Hitler trustees (maybe only Bormann, Göring, Goebbels, Himmler and a few others could be counted among those), he was nevertheless the highest ranking Third Reich official to open up so extensively in a book after the Third Reich collapsed.

Starting out as Hitler's favourite architect and the official architect of the Third Reich, he then moved on to become the Armaments and Munitions Reich Minister and thus enjoyed Hitler's full
...more
Erik Graff
Sep 04, 2012 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Westerners
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: biography
This book is certainly not as fascinating as Speer's Inside the Third Reich. Based on a prison diary, there is a plodding, repetitive cadence throughout, appropriate for the genre one would think. Still, there was quite a bit to intrigue me, fascinated as I am with the souls of political monsters like Speer, his ilk and, sadly, many of the executives of our own criminal government. Flitting throughout, for instance, is the figure of Rudolf Hess, the lst occupant of Spandau. Sometimes coherant, s ...more
J.E. Lowder
I'm a WWII junky. And of all the Nazis, Speer is indeed on of the most intriguing. Some hail him as "the good Nazi." Others claim he is a conniving, evil man. After reading Spandau, I personally feel he was writing from an honest heart. I'm not about to put him on a pedestal, or call him "a good Nazi," but he does have some introspective daggers that made me think about my own career and the passive choices one often makes "to become successful." If nothing else, you get an insider's glimpse of ...more
Joy
Favorite Nonfiction Read of 2001
Rob MacCavett
One of Hitler’s top lieutenants tells of being imprisoned for 20 years along with the other Nazi leaders found guilty at the Nuremburg Trial. It’s the story of a once upon a time good guy trying to distance himself from the culpability of Nazi crimes (including his own) and his often pathetic companions in fortress Spandau while carving out some kind of useful life.
Kaarthik Anebou
The book I would caution is quite dull as a subject per se. But when you get into the details Mr Speer takes us through it is really a lot of information. Imagine your life for 20 years within a perimeter; with additional restrictions imposed on your life style from time to time and not much of a friendly company.

The narrative and anecdotes is what keeps the book interesting - a lot of reflections from the author's past; his boss' mistakes and his. It is a walk down memory lane where he offers a
...more
Jmprueter
A very tedious book to plow through and read....mostly a disappointment. Very little insight into the inner workings of the Third Reich and even much less so about Adolph Hitler. This book could have been about any 20-year prisoner experience and almost entirely about the day-to-day movement and happenings of prison life i.e. complaints about the prison regulation, the monotony, endless and I do mean endless rants and raves about the garden he tended, his prison relationship with the other Nazi ...more
Thomas A Wiebe
These diaries provide a fascinating, hooded glimpse of the "smartest man" in the Nazi leadership, Albert Speer. At least, smart enough to evade the death penalty at the N��rnberg Trials, while running the war effort to produce arms and munitions using millions of slave laborers who were chronically abused, overworked and starved to death. Speer made an appearance of being the only Nazi leader to be conscience-stricken over the systematic murder of Jews, Gypsies and Slavs by Germany. Speer necess ...more
Tony Taylor
He served as Hitler's architect, the undisputed master of the German war machine, and the one responsible for conscripted foreign labor in the Third Reich. And, when Albert Speer was captured and sentenced at Nuremberg--after becoming the only defendant to plead guilty--he started keeping this secret diary, much of it on toilet paper. After 20 years of imprisonment, he found 25,000 of the smuggled pages waiting for him, and from those entries he shaped this deeply powerful document. "Albert Spee ...more
Ed Schofield
Mar 29, 2013 Ed Schofield rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: History buffs
Great stuff. Makes you think. It would seem that a good chum of Adolf Hitler had a conscience. The book is worth a read but I think it must also be read in conjunction with his other work 'Inside the Third Reich' which was written at the same time while he was in Spandau prison. Albert Speer was Minister for Armamments Production in Nazi Germany at the end of the war, was tried at Nuremberg in 1946, found guilty of war crimes and sentenced to 20 years prison. It's clear though that his only crim ...more
carl  theaker


Interesting insight from Speer on his stay in prison. Not exciting prose by any
means but words from the horse's mouth so to speak.

Speer's everyday activities reveal the battle with one's mind in prison, that
probably Hess was already on his way to losing. Speer got an atlas from
the prison library and set off to hike around the world in the prison
exercise yard, carefully measuring each kilometer.

Picking up this book for the first time in years I see I have saved newspaper
clippings from the '77
...more
Nickstarfield
After reading "Inside the Third Reich" it was only a matter of time for me to read this one as well. The whole story behind Spandau prison is quit fascinating. Imagine a whole jail just for 7 inmates. Here Albert Speer writes his hidden diary covering the 20 years he spent there. A detail account of everyday life, the relationship between them, thoughts and recollections of the Third Reich and the way they tried to keep their sanity. After the release of Speer, only Hess remained alone in the pr ...more
Nick Black
overall it's too long and too much like a anachronistic blog, but like any foreign blogger with a book deal, it's got its definite moments of wackiness and strange, strange Prussian humor. if you dug Speer's more well-known Life, you'll enjoy this one.
---
sequel to My Life in the Third Reich
Salvatore DiVita
Speer gives an in depth perspective of the lives of political prisoners which I found quite interesting. It allowed me to be privy to anecdotal memories of his interactions with Hitler, his haunted misgivings for crossing the line to a position of power and the resulting twenty-year prison term at Spandau.
Rae
I found these reprinted diaries of Albert Speer fascinating. It was quite revealing to get a behind-the-scenes look at Hitler's inner group, particularly towards the end of the war.
Josh
I'd have rated this higher, but I honestly cannot bring myself to trust Speer.

It's a thrilling account, but like all Speer's work, I'm not convinced of its accuracy.
Chris
Has it's dry spells, but it's an interesting glimpse into the resiliency of Albert Speer, Hitlers chief architect.
Tom Dougherty
Speer is lucky he got to write this book. He should have been executed as being head of slave labor in the Third Reich.
Dave
I can't read a diary..too much bouncing between prison and memories of Hitler...
Pat Shackleford
Very long book and not that amazing to read. But some nice observations
John
Interesting story about Albert Speer and his years in prison
Eric
Nov 28, 2007 Eric rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: History buffs
Interesting look into the core of the Third Reich's leadership.
Jae
I did enjoy this book, although it was hard to keep to.
Efrain Guzman-Rosario
Read this during my Junior High School years
Raleighhunter
What an insight to the Third Riech
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Albert Speer, born Berthold Konrad Hermann Albert Speer, was a German architect who was, for a part of World War II, Minister of Armaments and War Production for the Third Reich. Speer was Adolf Hitler's chief architect before assuming ministerial office. As "the Nazi who said sorry", he accepted responsibility at the Nuremberg trials and in his memoirs for crimes of the Nazi regime. His level of ...more
More about Albert Speer...
Inside the Third Reich Infiltration Inside the Third Reich, 1 of 2 Альберт Шпеер. Воспоминания Inside the Third Reich, 2 of 2

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