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  • Awesome stuff! I have always been fascinated by the ordinariness of Hitler, Stalin and Mao Zedong. We know mostly through the thoughts of their main acolytes, like Speer for Hitler. I have always rued the fact that I never had any kind of mentor or spiritual friend like Speer or Zhou En Lai!

    Posted by Robert Gagnon on Thu 7 Oct 2010

  • Andrew Birkin (screenwriter, director, assistant to Kubrick on 2001) interviewed Speer in 1971.

    The tapes are posted as MP3s here http://www.jmbarrie.co.uk/abpage/SPEER/Speer-Intro.htm

    Posted by AT on Thu 7 Oct 2010

  • what great information and so beautifully written. thank you.

    Posted by kristian seier on Thu 21 Oct 2010

  • What a wonderful morning read on this Veteran's Day, 2010. It has again reminded me of a most powerfully poignant and avuncular conversation I had with an uncle-in-law, Leon Frechtel, who was assigned by the Justice Department to initiate the legal interrogation(s) of Albert Speer at Nuremberg prior to the trial. Leon, who was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Jewish, possessed a demanding and unquenchable curiosity. Although I believe that my uncle's formal education included Yale and Columbia prior to joining the Justice Department in the 1940s. he readily confided that he had never met a more brilliant intellect.
    At the outset of the interrogation process, Leon described a most approachable, confident and informative individual who spoke without ever resorting to any notes and yet cited faultlessly the most minutiae of war production details. Leon said that he soon halted the inquiry until his staff could prove the veracity of every reference mentioned in passing by Speer. When nothing could be found at odds with the Nazi and/or Allied records, Leon said that he found himself humbled and, uncomfortably, awed by this highest of Nazi war criminals to avoid capital punishment.

    Posted by Ulric C Berard on Thu 11 Nov 2010

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Peter Foges is a film and television producer. He worked for the BBC in London for fifteen years as a correspondent, anchor, producer, and director, before moving to the U.S. to serve as BBC-TV's Bureau Chief. He later became Director of News and Public Affairs Programming for WNET/Thirteen in New York City, where he has created, written, produced, or executive produced series and specials such as Good Night and Good Luck and Heretic, and co-wrote The Ten Year Lunch: The Wit and Legend of the Algonquin Round Table, which was awarded the 1987 Oscar for Best Feature Length Documentary.
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The brutalities of progress are called revolutions. When they are over we realize this: that the human has been roughly handled, but that it has advanced.
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Lewis H. Lapham is Editor of Lapham's Quarterly. He also serves as editor emeritus and national correspondent for Harper's magazine.
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