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Albert Speer – Escaping the Gallows (Hardback)

Secret Conversations with Hitler's Top Nazi

WWII Hitler & the Third Reich Military

By Dr Adrian Greaves
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9781399009539
Published: 4th June 2021


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At the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal, Albert Speer, Hitler’s one-time number two, persuaded the judges that he ‘knew nothing’ of the Holocaust and related atrocities. Narrowly escaping execution, he was sentenced to twenty years in Spandau Prison, Berlin.

In 1961, the newly commissioned author, as the British Army Spandau Guard Commander, was befriended by Speer, who taught him German. Adrian Greaves’ record of his conversations with Speer over a three year period make for fascinating reading. While the top Nazi admitted to Greaves his secret part in war crimes, after his 1966 release he determinedly denied any wrongdoing and became an intriguing and popular figure at home and abroad. Following Speer’s death in 1981 evidence emerged of his complicity in Hitler’s and the Nazi’s atrocities.

In this uniquely revealing book the author skilfully blends his own personal experiences and relationship with Speer with a succinct history of the Nazi movement and the horrors of the 1930s and 1940s. In so doing new light is thrown on the character of one of the 20th century’s most notorious characters.

As featured in

The Oldie

It is thanks to the authors access to Speer and his seeming ability to draw out Speer’s revelations that we have this well wrought insight into the ‘Good Nazi’ who was anything but!

Martin Willoughby, Chairman of the Wessex Branch of the Western Front Association

Featured on UK Historian

UK Historian

Well written and plenty of detail. But this man is just Evil (Speer not the author). Knowing what he did and nonplussingly denying any responsibility. While I enjoy reading these types of books to further my history knowledge, they will forever make me angry for the lives lost.

NetGalley, Jennifer DiCenzo

In summary, this book does a great job in dispelling the mythology of Speer as a 'good Nazi', it offers up new information about some of the personal relationships within Hitler's inner circle and provides real insight about Cold War tensions in post war Berlin.

Phil Curme, Walker of battlefields. MA in Military History. Researching British Army in 19th Century China.

The author takes a fact-based approach using a variety of sources all of which are carefully referenced. The wider history of the Nazi rise to power is covered so as to put Speer's contribution into proper context. For added interest, the book covers the post war history of the Allied Powers' occupation of Berlin and the way in which Spandau Prison was used for geo political purposes by both the Allies and the Russians. The author provides a vivid portrait of what it was like to serve on the 'Front Line' during the Cold War. In summary, this book does a great job in dispelling the mythology of Speer as a 'good Nazi', it offers up new information about some of the personal relationships within Hitler's inner circle and provides real insight about Cold War tensions in post war Berlin.

Read the full review here

Phil Curme

I enjoyed the 6 hours I spent reading this 192-page WWII history. I had of course heard about Speer, but I learned a great deal more about him from this book. He appears to have been very smart and cunning... I found it interesting. I do like the selected cover art. I give this book a 4 out of 5.

NetGalley, John Purvis

An interesting look at the life and times of the number 2 man in Nazi Germany. The story was well done, and took the time to explain all of the politics behind the scenes. I found this book to be informative from a historical perspective.

NetGalley, Ron Baumer

Great informational text on a Nazi that is rarely focused on and is often not mentioned in the history books. Information that the average person would never know. Interesting to think that he thought was innocent in all the horrors of the Nazi Era.

NetGalley, Cassandra Suder

About Dr Adrian Greaves

In 1960 Adrian Greaves joined up as a Private soldier. A year later aged seventeen, he was selected for officer training and was commissioned into the Welch Regiment. Stationed in Berlin for three years he witnessed the Wall being built, undertook border patrols and once being taken hostage at gunpoint by East German Police. As this book reveals, Albert Speer, who befriended him, taught him German to interpreter level. He met international leaders including Kennedy and Khrushchev.

After leaving the Army he joined Kent Police achieving high rank. His hobbies included mountaineering and he and two friends successfully climbed the Eiger north wall. In 1984 he led an armed police team to quell a violent mutiny on a tanker in the English Channel.

A qualified clinical psychologist, he has over twenty published titles, many with Pen and Sword including Forgotten Battles of the Zulu War (shortly to be re-issued)

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