Lv 7
Gerry asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 7 years ago

Albert Speer; did he deserve the 20 years after his plea of "Guilty"?

I am of the impression that Speer served 15 years too long and that Admiral Karl Dönitz prison sentence was much too lenient. Speer deserved 5 years in prison; not 20. Dönitz deserved 20 years to life.

Your thoughts?


Dönitz was clearly Corporal Hitler's favorite and in fact Hitler himself would reference Dönitz when ever his Generals weren't doing or following what he wanted by way of example. He was also much closer to Hitler than Speer ever was; the architect fell into the position of Minister of Armaments and War Production only after Todt was killed in a plane crash.

Many American, and British ranking persons appealed to the Board to reduce Speer's sentence. They could never get passed the Russians of course. From the American side it was John McCloy, George Ball, and Avril Harriman to name a few. Neurath, Raeder, and Funk all had life sentences that were commuted and Hess certainly spent his "life" sentence in prison. There was obviously an inconsistent pattern prevalent with the 7 from the Nuremburg "major" Trial.

Comicbook Reader ~ the question was quite clear on its merits.

Caspian ~ will disagree with your position but thanks for the answer.

Ocean Eagl

Update 2:

Ocean Eagle ~ Dönitz committed far more crimes on the High Seas even before the US entered the war that the British and Commonwealth Nations had already confronted. Not to mention the US shipping that went down during Lend Lease before 7 December 1941. The litmus test you provide doesn't stand clear as a point.

Update 3:

Jay ~ the only person that was in fact determined to be a "professional soldier" and released after the Nuremburg 'minor" trials was Heinz Guderian. Guderian clearly disobeyed many of Hitler's orders of atrocities upon the civilian population while enroute to Moscow. Dönitz on the other hand never so much as apologized and received a mere 10 years. Speer did in fact acknowledge the use of slave labor and also provided orders to have them treated well and fed (not that this makes what happened "less wrong" if you will). This along with his apology to the chagrin of Dönitz, Raeder, Funk, and others that did meet the rope set him quite apart from his "peers" of the time.

Update 4:

Dönitz got away with a big one; he maintained his Nazi tendencies even while in prison. Ten years was not enough in my view.

6 Answers

  • Jay
    Lv 7
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Speer was Minister of Armaments in Nazi Germany from 1942 until virtually the end of the war, barring some time off for ill health.

    He was formally charged with planning for war, planning a war of aggression, crimes against peace and crimes against humanity and was found guilty on two counts – war crimes and crimes against humanity. Undoubtedly although he denied it he knowingly used slave labour as minister for armaments. He simply could not have known that slave labour was used in many of the larger projects that he was involved in.

    What saved Speer from being hanged was his contrition and perhaps that he pandered to the court. It also helped that he was one of the few senior Nazis who turned against Hitler. In the dying days of WWII Hitler demanded that Speer adopt a scorched earth policy and destroy certain items of civilian and military infrastructure before they could fall into the hands of the Allies.

    Doenitz was charged on three counts: (1) conspiracy to commit crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity; (2) planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression; and (3) crimes against the laws of war. He was found not guilty on the first count count (1) of the indictment, but guilty on counts (2) and (3).

    The feeling was that he was considered a soldier following orders.

  • 7 years ago

    You need to elaborate on why you think Speer - a top member of Hitler's government and Minister of Armaments and War Production - should only receive 5 years. Working behind the lines didn't make him any less culpable.

  • 7 years ago

    Speer deserved what he got. Doentiz was innocent of all crimes and was only tried out of vindictiveness. He would have got more than 5 years but a U.S. Admiral called as a witness stated that the U.S.Navy had the same rules. Don't forget it was the U.S. that deliberately bombed a U Boat that was towing survivors which caused Doentiz to change the rules.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Yeah, as @Jay suggested, Speer got off because was, you could say, the world's first yuppie, and he seemed (SEEMED) like more of a civilized professional engineer-type guy than the total wackos like Streicher and Hess, so the court went easy on him.

    He was repsonsible for the agonizing deaths and suffering of untold numbers of slave laborers. Fcuk him.

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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Speer was as culpable and as guilty as say Hess given life as Hitler's deputy!

  • 7 years ago

    Speer deserved the noose, but because he "said sorry" he got off light.

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