qatsi (qatsi) wrote,
qatsi
qatsi

The Devil's Architect

This week BBC Four has been showing Speer and Hitler: The Devil's Architect. I know various people have complained that the new Doctor Who is too short; in contrast, at 3 90-minute installments on consecutive evenings, this was perhaps too long. What is it about the Germans? (I am thinking of The Ring and Heimat as other magnissimi opi).

It was an interesting montage of dramatisation, cut with footage from the war and the Nuremberg trials, and interspersed with interviews mainly with Speer's children. One concludes that Speer was either an extremely proficient liar (a possibility which can't be ruled out), or a man who had genuine remorse and accepted some responsibility for the atrocities of the Holocaust. One the one hand, he can be portrayed as nothing more evil than an intelligent and ambitious technocrat, who was a willing participant in mutual seduction with Hitler over the architectural plans for a New Berlin, and had the misfortune to be at Hitler's side when his armaments minister died in an air accident and was subsequently appointed as his successor. On the other, it's inconceivable that he did not know that the German munitions were being produced by slave labour, and he had more than a hand in the design of Auschwitz. It was interesting that his children were sometimes consistent in their answers to the interviewer, and sometimes differed, particularly in how much Speer knew of the Final Solution. An interesting contrast to Downfall, though nothing to contradict it.
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