gemeint ist Adolf Hitler. Erinnerungen. Propyläen-Verlag Berlin 1969, S. 44
Zitate von Albert Speer
Geburtstag: 19. März 1905
Todesdatum: 1. September 1981
Berthold Konrad Hermann Albert Speer war ein deutscher Architekt, Rüstungsorganisator in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus und ab 1942 Reichsminister für Bewaffnung und Munition. Er wurde als Kriegsverbrecher beim Nürnberger Prozess zu 20 Jahren Haft verurteilt.
Als Favorit Hitlers machte der Architekt Speer ab 1933 eine außergewöhnliche Karriere. Ab 1937 war er Generalbauinspektor für die Reichshauptstadt, plante den Neubau Berlins und leitete zahlreiche Monumentalbauvorhaben Hitlers, darunter auch den Bau der neuen Reichskanzlei, die den NS-Herrschaftsanspruch unterstreichen sollten. Als Fritz Todt am 8. Februar 1942 bei einem Flugzeugabsturz starb, wurde Speer sein Nachfolger als Rüstungsminister. Es gelang ihm, trotz starker Bombardierungen die Gesamtproduktion bis zum Kriegsende jährlich immer weiter zu erhöhen. Als Rüstungsminister war er für die Beschäftigung von 700.000 Zwangsarbeitern mitverantwortlich; er nahm Einfluss auf Betrieb und Ausbau von Konzentrationslagern. Speer gehörte zu den 24 Angeklagten im Nürnberger Prozess gegen die Hauptkriegsverbrecher vor dem Internationalen Militärgerichtshof, dem aber ein erheblicher Teil von Speers Taten nicht bekannt war. 1946 wurde er wegen seiner Kriegsverbrechen und Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit schuldig gesprochen und zu 20 Jahren Haft verurteilt. Diese saß er vollständig im Kriegsverbrechergefängnis Spandau ab.
Vor allem wegen seiner nach der Haft publizierten Autobiografie und der darin enthaltenen Apologetik sowie nach seinem Tod bekannt gewordenen Beteiligungen am Bau von Konzentrations- und Massenvernichtungslagern sowie dem Erwerb aus jüdischen Notverkäufen gilt er als ein umstrittener Autor über die Zeit des Nationalsozialismus.
Zitate Albert Speer
zitiert in Joachim Fest: Die unbeantwortbaren Fragen. Rowohlt 2005. S. 112; auch in der Rezension von Fests Buch von Christian Thomas, Frankfurter Rundschau, 17. März 2005, literaturkritik.de http://www.literaturkritik.de/public/rezension.php?rez_id=8211&ausgabe=200506
„Man darf in diesem Zusammenhang überhaupt nicht das Wort ‚Die Deutschen‘ nennen. Das war schon der Trugschluss nach 1918. Denn die Deutschen sind ja auch die Kinder und die alten Leute, sind Frauen und sind also Menschen, die ihrer Intelligenz nach in keiner Weise geeignet sind, irgendeine Verantwortung zu tragen. Und wenn man sagt: ‚Die Deutschen‘, dann sind die dabei.“
In Marcel Ophüls Aufarbeitung der Nürnberger Prozesse The Memory of Justice (1976) eine Aussage Speers zu seinem Bild von „den Deutschen. The Memory of Justice (1976) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074891/ bei imdb.
„At a situation conference early in February the maps showed the catastrophic picture of innumerable breakthroughs and encirclements. I drew Doenitz aside: "Something must be done, you know." Doenitz replied with unwonted curtness: "I am here only to represent the navy. The rest is none of my business. The Fuehrer must know what he is doing."“
Quelle: Inside the Third Reich: Memoirs (1970), p. 427
„In the burning and devastated cities, we daily experienced the direct impact of war. It spurred us to do our utmost…the bombing and the hardships that resulted from them did not weaken the morale of the populace.“
Quelle: Inside the Third Reich: Memoirs (1970), p. 363
„20 years. Well … that's fair enough. They couldn't have given me a lighter sentence, considering the facts, and I can't complain. I said the sentences must be severe, and I admitted my share of the guilt, so it would be ridiculous if I complained about the punishment.“
To Dr. G. M. Gilbert, after receiving his sentence. Quoted in "Nuremberg Diary" by G. M. Gilbert - History - (1995)
„The Nuremberg Trial stands for me still today as an attempt to break through to a better world. Still today I acknowledge as generally correct the reasons of my sentence by the International Military Tribunal. Moreover, I still today consider as just that I assume the responsibility and thus the guilt for everything that was perpetrated by way of, generally speaking, crime, after my joining the Hitler Government on the 8th February 1942. Not the individual mistakes, grave as they may be, are burdening my conscience, but my having acted in the leadership. Therefore, I for my person, have in the Nuremberg Trial, confessed to the collective responsibility and I am also maintaining this today still. I still see my main guilt in my having approved of the persecution of the Jews and of the murder of millions of them.“
Testimony of Albert Speer, Munich, 15 June 1977 http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/speer.html
„The danger that hung over Moscow in the winter of 1941 struck [Hitler] as similar to his present predicament. In a brief access of confidence, he might remark with a jesting tone of voice that it would be best, after victory over Russia, to entrust the administration of the country to Stalin, under German hegemony, of course, since he was the best imaginable man to handle the Russians. In general he regarded Stalin as a kind of colleague. When Stalin's son was taken prisoner it was out of this respect, perhaps, that Hitler ordered him to be given especially good treatment.“
Quelle: Inside the Third Reich: Memoirs (1970), p. 306
„The sacrifices which were made on both sides after January 1945 were without sense. The dead of this period will be the accusers of the man responsible for the continuation of that fight, Adolf Hitler, just as much as the destroyed cities, destroyed in that last phase, who had lost tremendous cultural values and tremendous numbers of dwellings…. The German people” he said” remained faithful to Adolf Hitler until the end. He has betrayed them knowingly. He has tried to throw them into the abyss…“
As quoted by chief prosecutor Robert H. Jackson in the closing summation of the prosecution at the Nuremberg Trials on July 26, 1946
„Even the last scintillating assembly of the leaders of the Reich could scarcely distract me from my cares. That was the gala celebration of Goering's birthday on January 12, 1944, which he held at Karinhall. We all came with expensive presents, such as Goering expected: cigars from Holland, gold bars from the Balkans, valuable paintings and sculptures. Goering had let me know that he would like to have a marble bust of Hitler, more than life size, by Breker. The overladen gift table had been set up in the big library. Goering displayed it to his guests and spread out on it the building plans his architect had prepared for his birthday. Goering's palace-like residence was to be more than doubled in size. At the magnificently set table in the luxurious dining room flunkies in white livery served a somewhat austere meal, in keeping with the conditions of the time. Funk, as he did every year, delivered the birthday speech at the banquet. He lauded Goering's abilities, qualities, and dignities and offered the toast to him as "one of the greatest Germans."“
Funk's extravagant words contrasted grotesquely with the actual situation. The whole thing was a ghostly celebration taking place against a background of collapse and ruin.
Quelle: Inside the Third Reich: Memoirs (1970), p. 322
„The young district leader chose Baubaus wallpapers at my suggestion, although I had hinted that these were “Communist” wallpapers. He waved that warning aside with a grand gesture: “We will take the best of everything, even from the Communists.” In saying this he was expressing what Hitler and his staff had already been doing for years: picking up anything that promised success without regard for ideology…“
Quelle: Inside the Third Reich: Memoirs (1970), p. 22
„Actually, a kind of state socialism seemed to be gaining more and more ground, furthered by many of the [Nazi] party functionaries. They had already managed to have all plants owned by the state distributed among the various party districts and subordinated to their own district enterprises… Our very system of industrial direction in the interests of war production could easily become the framework for a state-socialist economic order. The result was that our organization, the more efficient it became, was itself providing the party leaders with the instruments for the doom of private enterprise.“
Quelle: Inside the Third Reich: Memoirs (1970), p. 359
To Leon Goldensohn, April 14, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - (2004)
„In contrast to the ultimate realization that he was dealing with a formidable enemy in the east, Hitler clung to the end to his preconceived opinion that the troops of the Western countries were poor fighting material. Even the Allied successes in Africa and Italy could not shake his belief that these soldiers would run away at the first serious onslaught. He was convinced that these soldiers would run away from the first serious onslaught. He was convinced that democracy enfeebled a nation. As late as the summer of 1944 he held to his theory that all the ground that had been lost in the West would be quickly reconquered. His opinions on the Western statesmen had a similar bias. He considered Churchill, as he often stated during the situation conferences, an incompetent, alcoholic demagogue. And he asserted in all seriousness that Roosevelt was not a victim of infantile paralysis but of syphilitic paralysis and was therefore mentally unsound. These opinions, too, were indications, of his flight from reality in the last years of his life.“
Quelle: Inside the Third Reich: Memoirs (1970), p. 306-307
„The tremendous danger, however, contained in this totalitarian system only became abundantly clear at the moment when we were approaching the end. It was then that one could see what the meaning of the principle was, namely, that every order should be carried out without any criticism. Everything... you have seen in the way of orders which were carried out without any consideration, did after all turn out to be mistakes... This system let me put it like this to the end of the system it had become clear what tremendous dangers are contained in any such system, as such quite apart from Hitler's principle. The combination of Hitler and this system, then, brought about this tremendous catastrophe to this world.“
As quoted by chief prosecutor Robert H. Jackson in the closing summation of the prosecution at the Nuremberg Trials on July 26, 1946
„Around the middle of February, I called on Goering one evening in Karinhall. I had discovered from studying the military map that he had concentrated his parachute division around his hunting estate. For a long time he had been made the scapegoat for all the failures of the Luftwaffe. At the situation conferences Hitler habitually denounced him in the most violent and insulting language before the assembled officers. He must have been even nastier in the scenes he had with Goering privately. Often, waiting in the anteroom, I could hear Hitler shouting at him. That evening in Karinhall, I established a certain intimacy with Goering for the first and only time. Goering had an excellent Rotschild-Lafite served at the fireplace and ordered the servant not to disturb us. Candidly, I described my disappointment with Hitler. Just as candidly, Goering replied that he well understood me and that he often felt much the same. However, he said, it was easier for me, since I had joined Hitler a great deal later and could free myself from him all the sooner. He, Goering, had much closer ties with Hitler; many years of common experiences and struggles had bound them together- and he could no longer break loose.“
Quelle: Inside the Third Reich: Memoirs (1970), p. 426
„A new large-scale war will end with the destruction of human culture and civilization. Therefore, this this trial must contribute toward preventing such degenerate wars in the future, and toward establishing rules whereby human beings can live together.“
Nuremberg trials, (31 August 1945)
„Hitler's dictatorship differed in one fundamental point from all its predecessors in history. His was the first dictatorship in the present period of technical development, a dictatorship which made complete use of all technical means for the domination of its own country. Through technical means like the radio and the loud-speaker, eighty million people were deprived of independent thought. It was thereby possible to subject them to the will of one man.“
1946. Quoted in "Nuremberg: The War Crimes Trial" by Richard Norton-Taylor, Nicolas Kent - Drama - (1997)
„At Mondorf and Nuremberg, Goering had undergone a systematic withdrawal cure which had ended his drug addiction. Ever since, he was in better form than I had ever seen him. He displayed remarkable energy and became the most formidable personality among the defendants. I thought it a great pity that he had not been up to this level before the outbreak of the war and in critical situations during the war. He would have been the only person whose authority and popularity Hitler would have had to reckon with. Actually, he had been one of the few sensible enough to foresee the doom that awaited us. But having thrown away his chance to save the country while that was still possible, it was absurd and truly criminal for him to use his regained powers to hoodwink his own people. His whole policy was one of deception. Once, in the prison yard something was said about Jewish survivors in Hungary. Goering remarked coldly: "So, there are still some there? I thought we had knocked off all of them. Somebody slipped up again."“
I was stunned.
Quelle: Inside the Third Reich: Memoirs (1970), p. 512