Description:

ALBERT SPEER
(1905-1981) Nazi German architect and Minister of Armaments and War Production, convicted of war crimes at Nuremburg. Retained carbon copy of a letter sent by Speer to Adolf Hitler, signed post-war by Speer, 12pp. large 4to., Berlin, Dec. 6, 1944, typed in the usual large font used in letters to Hitler so that he would be able to read them without glasses. The letter is stamped: "Secret Reichs Matter" in red ink at the upper right with the annotation: "8 copies 7. copy". All pages are also sequentially numbered and stamped at top from 1176 to 1187, and on the bottom from 6439 to 6450. Signed on the last page in blue ink by Speer: "Die Echtheit dieser Durchschrift an Hitler bestaetigt Albert Speer Heidelberg 11. VI 71" ("The authenticity of this copy to Hitler confirmed Albert Speer Heidelberg June 11, 1971"). Speer's letter concerns making available German laborers born after 1906 for military service. Speer opens his report by calculating the loss in manpower for production to be about 43% since he took office in February of 1942. He provides a table showing the loss from Jan. 10, 1942 to Nov. 1, 1944, sorted by category: 66% loss in the manufacture of armaments, 36% lost in mining, 43% lost in war production, 31% lost from Organization Todt, and 74% lost in Wehrmacht-owned production, for a total reduction of 57%. Speer states that workers answerable to Hitler and the Wehrmacht are exempt from manufacturing duty. He offers to release available manpower but at the same time maintains his right to reintroduce soldiers to the labor force once the military situation improves. He attaches a draft recommending to Hitler a special order that releases available workers that are of no use to Speer at present due to the interruption of commercial traffic, under the condition that once manufacturing is restored they will be returned to production. Speer also offers Hitler 30,000 men listed as indispensible. Speer writes: "I am convinced that according to this plan additional conscripts from armament and war production can be released after careful consideration... In spite of all difficulties and in spite of the reservations of my colleagues I shall make available to the Wehrmacht - in addition to the recruitment of 30,000 men whom I have already offered to you - 10,000 men born in 1906 or later. In February and March, I shall also make available an additional 30-40,000 conscripts..." Of course, Speer supplemented his diminished labor force with slave labor and foreign "guest" workers. He cleverly evaded a death sentence at Nuremburg.

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August 23, 2016 10:30 AM EDT
Elkton, MD, US

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