Inside the Third Reich – Albert Speer

Speer was initially the architectural mastermind behind the Nazi attempt to remake Berlin and later was Minister of Arms and Munitions during WWII.  As such, he was close to Hitler and moved in the top echelons of the government.  He was imprisoned after the war for 20 years and spent that time writing his memoirs, which became this book.  The book doesn’t sound like a page-turner (and, admittedly, parts of the book are tedious), but it’s worth the read.  It’s amazingly informative and really paints a thorough picture of Hitler and his devolution throughout the war.  He didn’t plan ahead very well – the Nazis were actually much more successful early on than he had even hoped and so things moved faster than he had planned – and didn’t have a good handle on the ramifications of going to war generally.  Ultimately, his ego and psychotic mind eventually got the better of him.  The book covers Hitler’s rise to power and goes through the end of the war.  One of the interesting aspects of the book is that Speer is brutally honest about his role.  He takes the blame for his actions and doesn’t give excuses.  All in all, a book that’s worth it to those who have an interest in WWII.

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