Unless correspondents ask us not to, this Website will post selected letters that it receives and invite open debate.
Alan Heath writes from Poland on Sunday, September 7, 2003 with more points about Albert Speer
Points on Albert Speer (2)
I READ with interest your comments on your meeting with [Hitler's munitions minister] Albert Speer -- everyone's favourite Nazi. Speer earned that position by his seemingly honest and frank approach to what had happened during the war and particularly to the way he accounted for his stance against the scorched-earth policy in Germany.
As far as the holocaust is concerned he did admit some time shortly before his 1981 death in London that he had known about it but turned a blind eye to it.
What he seems to have forgotten was that he was the lead instigator in having Jewish people evicted from their homes in Berlin from 1938 on -- not perhaps equitable yet with mass murder -- but certainly an initial step in this direction given that homelessness without any other resources forces a person to rely completely on hand outs from others.
As far as his visit to the I.G. Farben works in Auschwitz is concerned he would have no reason necessarily to know what was going on inside Birkenau [Auschwitz II] but in "his" memoirs he states that in a talk with the shocked Upper Silesian gauleiter [Karl Hanke] he was warned never to go there, even if he were invited. Something here seems amiss.
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David Irving comments:
YES, in my Goebbels biography I referred in detail to Speer's special office for the eviction of Jews from their Berlin properties, which became most active in 1941. These were among the passages that Speer, still inside Spandau prison, caused to be excised by his crony Rudolf Wolters from the Chronik der Dienststelle Speer (Speer's official diary); he then had the diaries retyped and presented to the gullible German Federal Archives.
I spotted that they had been sanitised after Speer donated a complete set of the retyped version to me in the 1970s -- not knowing that I already had a copy of the original 1943 diary, held by the Cabinet Office in London for years, and could thus spot the tampering. I wrote a letter to Speer inquiring the explanation for the omissions. Matthias Schmidt prints the resulting horrified exchanges between Speer and Wolters in his book, Albert Speer, The End of a Myth (St Martins Press, New York, 1984).* Speer and Wolters panicked that I was about to reveal the deception publicly, but I had other fish to fry at that time.