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ALBERT SPEER - TYPESCRIPT SIGNED - HFSID 259184

ALBERT SPEER. Typescript signed: "Albert Speer", 1 p, 8½x4½. Text of message from Speer in Berlin, April 3, 1945, to Gauleiter Uiberreither in Graz (an Austrian city annexed by Germany (1938-1945). (A gauleiter was a local Nazi chieftain.

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ALBERT SPEER. Typescript signed: "Albert Speer", 1 p, 8½x4½. Text of message from Speer in Berlin, April 3, 1945, to Gauleiter Uiberreither in Graz (an Austrian city annexed by Germany (1938-1945). (A gauleiter was a local Nazi chieftain.) In full: "According to the Fuehrer's orders of March 30, 1945, there is to be no scorched earth. All installations and plants should be crippled so that the enemy will derive no additional military potential from them. In almost every case expert crippling by engineers will be sufficient and will fulfill the conditions stipulated by the Fuehrer. This applies to the plants mentioned in your cable. The Fuehrer's order of March 30, 1945 was intended to eliminate the varied interpretations that could be attached to the order of March 19, 1945, and to establish his unequivocal commitment to the method of crippling. Destruction is therefore permissible only if crippling would not achieve the desired effect. In addition the Fuehrer proclaims: 'Work until the last possible moment. Power plants are to be crippled only." An architect, Speer (1905-1981) was appointed Inspector-General of the Reich by Hitler in 1937. He was responsible for rebuilding Berlin and other German cities in the neo-classical, monumental style Hitler favored. Speer was Reich Minister for Armaments and War Production from 1942-1945, virtually controlling all German production during the later stages of the war. Remarkably, he increased German output of most types of war material, even while the Third Reich was shrinking and subject to intense air bombardment. He did so, however, with increasing reliance on forced labor. At Nuremberg, Speer was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity, but it was noted that "in the closing stages of the war he was one of the few men who had the courage to tell Hitler that the war was lost and to take steps to prevent the senseless destruction of production facilities." (as shown in the typescript above). He was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment (the Soviets wanted to hang him) and was released in 1966. He died during a visit to London. Speer's memoirs portray a man beguiled by Hitler but largely unaware of the enormity of Nazi crimes against humanity. Noting his intimacy with Hitler, and relying on other evidence, most historians attribute to Speer a much greater degree of guilt. Staple holes in upper left. Otherwise, fine condition.
 

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