How Is Albert Speer Interpreted by Three Different Historians Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:06:56
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Category: Nazi Germany

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Albert Speer can be interpreted in various ways due to the events that occurred in the third Reich. There will always be differing views placed on Speer and the decisions he made, whether it presents Speer positively or negatively. Sereny, Van Der Vat and Speer himself are all historians who comment on and interpret Speer. Van Der Vat throughout his research and findings is very critical towards Speer. Speer is not amoral but immoral, being an active participant with knowledge of the concentration camps, the extermination of 6 million Jews and as Armaments Minister controlling and conducting slave labour.

Speer was not absent-minded, eyes-adverted, amoral non-spectator, of Nazi anti-Semitism but an active participant. Speer was a master actor, living a life deceiving people and working for his own gain. Van Der Vat believed Speer was present during Himmlers speech at the Posen conference. Himmler directly addressed Speer. On the issue of the Jewish Flats, Van Der Vat states Speer was Passively tolerant or actively approving. He believes he was aware of the situations around him, and therefore did nothing to prevent the situation from spiralling.

During the Nuremburg trials, he argues collective responsibility for the crimes of the Nazis at Nuremburg was a strategy he had been developing for some time, creating his defence. Sereny is a historian who doesnt try to blame Speer for the Holocaust but neither does she make excuses for him. Sereny spent four years investigating the Posen conference and whether or not Speer was present during Himmlers speech. She read every single document in every language concluding, I am not sure, but it doesnt make a difference.

Sereny suggests that Speer would have not known what was going on with the Jewish Flats as, Most of this resettlement work was purely administrative. However, she also suggests that Speer could not have been unaware of the situation, it is impossible that Speer was not informed of the substance of this meeting. Speer in an exclusive interview wrote to Sereny, What I regret most and always will is my tacit acceptance (Billigung) to the murder of millions of Jews. Speer had knowledge of what was happening and turned away.

Sereny came to the conclusion that, If Speer had said as much in Nuremburg, he would have been hanged. Speer can be an historian of his own. However, he can be seen as biased in making himself reflect a positive image. At Posen, Speer denies being at the conference when Himmler gave his speech about the extermination of the Jews. However, in his memoirs of The Third Reich he reports on drunken Gauleites behaviour. Speer stated he was aware of the resettlement of the Jews. I knew the Jews were being evacuated from Germany, using the same words as Himmler in his speech which Speer supposedly missed.

At Nuremburg, Speer doesnt deny the fact he knew somewhat about the crimes committed, however he states there is more than one person responsible, I found the position I felt I should take in the trials to regard my own fate as insignificant not to struggle my own life, but to assume the responsibility in a general sense. In conclusion, Speer, Sereny and Van Der Vat all reflect their views and opinions of Speer through their research. They each place their own interpretation on the events Speer was involved in which create a sense of uncertainty.

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