Reader review: "A well documented study of Albert Speer, the "good Nazi" who escaped the gallows at the Nuremberg trials...Geetanjali Mukherjee makes a compelling argument that Speer lied about his role in the government, and was able to con the investigators with his charming personality. Well written and a great read."
He presented many faces to the world, but which one was genuine?
Over the years Albert Speer has been given several titles - 'the good Nazi', 'Hitler's architect', 'future Reichchancellor', and even 'the only penitent defendant at Nuremberg'. There is no doubt that there are many faces to Albert Speer: he was a man who had far greater power during the war than any other aside from Hitler, and was widely believed to succeed Hitler; his tremendous powers of organization raised German production to its peak at a time when resources were at an all-time low; and it was expected by all, including himself, that he would receive the death sentence like the other Nazi leaders, instead escaping the noose with only twenty years.
In light of his extended involvement in the Nazi party, both as Hitler's architect and the Minister for Armaments, and his contributions to the illegal war waged by the regime, the question naturally arises: did Speer receive adequate punishment? Did the verdict reflect the perception that Speer was somehow 'less culpable' than the other defendants, or did he mastermind his defence in a way that reduced his sentence? The events leading up to the Nuremberg trial, and the trial itself, provides clues to answering these questions: what can we learn about the personality of Speer from the evidence available, and why does it matter?
Geetanjali Mukherjee grew up in India, spending her early years in Kolkata, and then attending high school in New Delhi. She went on to read law as an undergraduate at the University of Warwick, United Kingdom, where she joined as many clubs as possible while still giving the impression she understood the intricacies of trusts law. She went on to earn a Masters' in Public Administration from Cornell University, United States, while trying not to freeze along with the famed Ithaca lakes. She is also a member of Pi Alpha Alpha, the Global Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration. Geetanjali is the author of 8 books, although sometimes it feels like the one she is writing is the very first one. She currently lives in Singapore.