|Born:||March 19th, 1905|
|Died:||January 1st, 2018 (Age: 112)|
Berthold Konrad Hermann Albert Speer was a German architect who was, for a part of World War II, Minister of Armaments and War Production for the Third Reich. Speer was Adolf Hitler's chief architect before assuming ministerial office. As "the Nazi who said sorry",[a] he accepted moral responsibility at the Nuremberg trials and in his memoirs for complicity in crimes of the Nazi regime. His level of involvement in the persecution of the Jews and his level of knowledge of the Holocaust remain matters of dispute.
Speer joined the Nazi Party in 1931, launching him on a political and governmental career which lasted fourteen years. His architectural skills made him increasingly prominent within the Party and he became a member of Hitler's inner circle. Hitler instructed him to design and construct a number of structures, including the Reich Chancellery and the Zeppelinfeld stadium in Nuremberg where Party rallies were held. Speer also made plans to reconstruct Berlin on a grand scale, with huge buildings, wide boulevards, and a reorganized transportation system.
In February 1942, Hitler appointed Speer Minister of Armaments and War Production. Under his leadership, Germany's war production continued to increase despite considerable Allied bombing.