Episode 1: Albert Speer
In November 1945, in the German city of Nuremberg, the victors of the World War Two began the first international war crimes trial. The choice of the city was significant for it was here that the National Socialist Party held its annual rallies.
Adolf Hitler intended it to be rebuilt as the ‘party city’. Now many of the leaders of the party were on trial for their lives, only a short distance from the grand arena where they had been fêted by the German people.
The 21 defendants came from very different backgrounds. Some, like Hitler’s chosen successor Hermann Goering, were senior politicians – their responsibility clear.
Others were there because senior party leaders Heinrich Himmler, head of the feared SS, and Joseph Goebbels, head of propaganda – had killed themselves rather than face capture and trial.Their deputies or juniors stood on trial instead of them. But most of them were regarded by the western public, rightly or wrongly, as key playmakers in a system that had brought war to Europe and cost the lives of 50 million people.
This is episode one of a three part 2006 documentary series about the Nuremburg Trials. This episode focusus on Albert Speer the minister of armarments of the third reich and hitler’s architect.