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disaster. Its duty was rather to resign at the right time, so that the people could continue to live. Naturally, such principles were valid to Herr Hitler only for governments in which he had no part. For himself, however, he was of the point of view that if the German people should lose this war, they would have proved themselves the weaker ones and would no longer have any right to live. In contrast to this brutal egoism, Speer had preserved the feeling that he was the servant of his people and his nation. Without consideration for his person and without consideration for his safety, Speer acted as he considered it his duty towards his people to act. Speer had to betray Hitler in order to remain faithful to his people. Nobody will be able to withhold his respect from the tragedy which lies in this fate.
2. FINAL PLEA of Albert Speer
Mr. President, may it please the Tribunal: Hitler and the collapse of his system have brought a time of tremendous suffering upon the German people. The useless continuation of this war and the unnecessary destruction, in addition, make it difficult for the work of reconstruction. Privation and misery have come to the German people. After this trial, the German people will condemn Hitler as the proven originator of its misery, and despise him.
Yet the world will learn from these happenings not only to hate dictatorship as the form of a state, but to fear it.
Hitler's dictatorship differed in one principle from all its predecessors in history. His was the first dictatorship of an industrial state in this time of modern technical development, a dictatorship which, for the domination of its own nation, availed itself of all technical means in a perfect manner.
Many of the apparently improbable phenomena of this trial would not be possible without these technical developments. Through the means of these developments like the radio and the loudspeaker, 80,000,000 people were deprived of this power to think independently. Through these means they were subjected to the will of one man. The telephone, the teleprinter, and radio made it possible that, for instance, orders from the highest sources could be transmitted directly to the lowest ranking units, where because of their great authority, they were carried out without criticism. Of it was achieved that numerous departments and agencies came into direct contact with the top-ranking leaders from whence they received their sinister orders directly. Or it happened that there was a far-reaching supervision of the
citizen of the state and a high degree of secrecy of criminal events.
Perhaps to the outsider this machinery of the state may appear like the cables of a telephone exchange-apparently without sys-. tem. But just like this, it could be served and dominated by one single will.
Earlier dictators during their work of leadership needed collaborators, with the highest qualities even at the lowest level, men who could think and act independently.
The totalitarian system in a time of modern technical development does not depend on them; even the instruments of communication alone place it in a position where the work of the lower ranking leaders can be mechanized. As a result there arises the new type of the recipient of orders who does not criticize.
We had only reached the beginning of the development.
The nightmare of many a man that one day technical developments might domineer entire peoples had merely been realized in Hitler's totalitarian system.
Today the danger that technical developments may terrorize them overshadows every country in the world. In the modern dictatorship, this to me, seems inevitable.
Thus, the more technical the world becomes, the more the counter-balancing influence of the advancement of individual freedom and self-possessedness of man is essential.
Hitler not only used technical developments to dominate his own people he had nearly succeeded, by means of his technical lead, in subjugating the whole of Europe. It was merely due to some principal shortcomings of organization, such as are typical for a dictatorship because of the absence of criticism, that before 1942 he did not have twice as many tanks, aircraft, and submarines.
But, if a modern industrial state uses all its intelligence, its science, and technical developments as well as its entire production for a number of years in order to gain a lead in the sphere of armament, then it can also, by the use of its manpower and because of the established lead in the technical sphere, completely overtake and conquer the world, particularly if other nations during that same period employ their technical abilities in the service of cultural progress of humanity.
The more technical the world becomes, the greater will be this danger and the more serious will be an established lead in the sphere of the modern means of warfare.
This war has ended on the note of radio-controlled rockets, aircraft developing the speed of sound, novel submarines and
torpedoes, which could find their own target, of atom bombs, and with a prospect of a horrible type of chemical warfare.
By necessity the next war will be in the shadow of these new destructive inventions of human minds.
In five to ten years this technique of warfare will offer the possibility of firing rockets from continent to continent with uncanny precision. Through the smashing of the atom it will be in a position to destroy, in the center of New York, perhaps 1,000,000 people in a matter of seconds with a rocket serviced, perhaps, by ten men. Invisible, without previous warning, faster than sound, by day and by night. The scientists of various countries are able to spread among human beings and animals various diseases and destroy the harvests. Chemistry has at its disposal terrible weapons with which it can inflict unthinkable sufferings upon helpless human beings.
Will there once again be a nation to use the technical of this war for the preparation of a new war, while the remaining world exploits the technical of this war for the benefit of humanity, thus attempting to create minute compensation for its horrors?
As a former minister of the highly developed armament system, it must be my last duty to state this.
A new large-scale war will end with the destruction of human culture and civilization. Nothing will prevent the unleashed technique and science from completing its work of destruction of humanity, which it had begun in so dreadful a way in this, the last war.
That is the reason why this trial must be a contribution for the prevention of such distorted wars in the future and for the establishment of principles for human cohabitation. What is the significance of my own fate after everything that has happened, in the light of this high goal?
During the past centuries, the German people has contributed much towards the creation of human culture. Often it has made this its contribution in times when it was just as powerless and helpless as it is today. Valuable human beings cannot be driven to despair. They are bound to create new, lasting values and, under the tremendous pressure brought to bear upon everyone today, these new works will be of particular significance. addi
But if the German people in the inevitable times of its poverty and powerlessness-but simultaneously also the time of its reconstruction creates new works of culture, then it has, in that way, made its most valuable contribution to the happenings in this world which it could possibly be in a position to make.
It is not the battles of war alone which shape the history of
humanity; they are, in a higher sense, the cultural contributions which one day will become the common property of all humanity. But a nation believing in its future will never perish. May God protect Germany and the culture of the Occident.
[Following are translations of documents which were introduced in evidence, in whole or in part, as part of Speer's defense. They are published because of their unique historical importance. -Ed.]
SPEER DOCUMENT 004
Teletype from Speer to General Studt
Paris of 4 January 1944
In a conference which took place today the Fuehrer has ordered Gauleiter Sauckel to procure the labor needed by the German war economy from the European territory after more exact planning. In this task he is to be supported by all agencies of my field of command. Gauleiter Sauckel will for the time being start negotiations with the appropriate agencies with regard to the occupied western territories, in order to clear up the manner and possibility of the execution. In this respect it must be secured above all circumstances that an endangerment of the economy of these territories does not take place through the reductions.
The Fuehrer has additionally ordered that
1. The labor which is presently employed in restricted war plants [Sperrbetrieben] and which will arrive in future through voluntary recruiting or through mediation in the occupied territories and Italy are to be protected from any transfer to Germany, and
2. The labor which is still lacking in the restricted war plants [Sperrbetrieben] is to be procured for them expeditiously and with priority.
SPEER DOCUMENT 008
[Excerpts from the Fuehrer Conferences of 19-22 June 1944]
8. Reported to the Fuehrer the raw steel shortage in the month of May, and at the same time indicated the gravity of the shortage in the occupied Western territories.
9. At the same time I called the Fuehrer's attention to the fact that in my opinion, in spite of present transportation difficulties at the Front, there was by no means any question of giving up industrial capacities there, even if the manpower is at times unemployed. Production in the occupied Western territories is to be
brought to its peak as speedily as possible. The Fuehrer agreed with this opinion and himself determined that decisive measures which might be inferred from the present traffic emergency are not to be executed.
SPEER DOCUMENT 009
Fuehrer minutes of 11/12 September 1943
The Fuehrer sets forth that the most important Italian production plants (defense armament plants) must maintain their feeding at about the level of German food rations in order to attain high performances. Dependents of workers must also be taken care of adequately.
LEYERS: Name defense armament plants.
SPEER DOCUMENT 011
Fuehrer minutes of 21/22 March 1942
The Fuehrer declared quite clearly in a lengthy statement that he did not agree with the poor feeding of the Russians. The Russians must absolutely receive sufficient food and Sauckel is to see to it that this food is now guaranteed to Backe.
The Fuehrer is surprised to hear that Russian civilians are treated like prisoners of war behind barbed wire.
I explained to him that this was a consequence of an order given by him. The Fuehrer does not know anything about such an order. I request the particulars about this to be given to me for the next Fuehrer portfolio and at the same time to have Sauckel see to it that the Russian civilians are no longer treated like prisoners of war.
SPEER DOCUMENT 013
Fuehrer minutes of 30 May 1943
Furthermore the German miners are if possible to be treated better than before as far as food is concerned. The Russians are to receive plentiful additional food which is to be distributed individually by the plant manager on the basis of performance. Furthermore the Germans as well as particularly the Russian