“Describe the significant experiences that shaped the personality that you have studied”
The experiences that most prominently shaped Albert Speer were his early life, work as a Nazi
architect and his role as Minister for Armaments.
The experiences of Albert Speer’s early life was pivotal in forming the figure he would later
become. Speer, a part of the upper middle class ‘haute bourgeoisie’ had a privileged upbringing and
this wealth placed in him in an advantageous position, living in a villa in Heidelberg and allowing
him to attend top German schools. His elevated social position shielded him from the worst of the
1923 Hyperinflation and subsequent collapse of the German economy, with the only impact being
he studied architecture locally at the Institute of Technology in Karlsruhe rather than further afield.
The relative economic stability of the Stresemann Era facilitated Speers transfer to the Berlin
University where he studied under Heinrich Tessenow. Here, under Tessenow, Speer was exposed
to and went on to adopt, a neoclassical approach to architecture. This approach would allow Speer
to develop close links and gain rapid advancement with the Nazis who were a party that held similar
views on design, as they looked to create monuments to rival those of Ancient Rome. The onset of
the Great Depression was significant in Speer’s life, with economic difficulties and the growth in
the Communist threat within Germany making Speer susceptible to Hitler’s rhetoric and the Nazi
message of a restoration of national prosperity and the crushing of the Far Left threat. These events
culminated with Speer joining the Nazi Party as member 474 481 on the 1st of March 1931, a
decision that would ultimately shape the direction of his life.
The work of Speer in the Nazi Party was an experience that provided him with a heightened …