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Speer & Hitler – The Devil’s Architect

Speer & Hitler – The Devil’s Architect

By Patrick Samuel • June 7th, 2011
Static Mass Rating: 3/5
SPEER & HITLER – THE DEVIL’S ARCHITECT (DVD)
Second Sight 

Release date: June 6th 2011
Certificate (UK): 15
Running time: 272 minutes

Year of production: 2004
Country of origin: Germany
Original language: German with English subtitles

Director: Heinrich Breloer

Cast: Sebastian Koch, Tobias Moretti, Dagmar Manzel, Suzanne Schafer, Andre Hennicke, Axel Milberg, Peter Ruhring, Michael Gwisdek, Joachin Bismeier, Markus Boysen

There’s always been something fascinating and yet unsettling about the relationship between the Führer and Albert Speer, Hitler’s lead architect.

Speer was commissioned by Hitler to redesign Germany for the Thousand Year Reich with buildings such as the Reich Chancellery and the Zeppelinfeld stadium in Nuremberg and then promoted to Minister of Armaments and War Production for the Third Reich, joining the inner circle with Himmler and Goebbels.

Speer & Hitler - The Devil's Architect

The vision for a new Germany didn’t end their though. They planned to build another stadium to hold 400,000 spectators while Welthauptstadt Germania would have been unlike anything the world had ever seen before with the Volkshalle, designed by Hitler, standing over 200 metres high and 250 metres in diameter. It would have been sixteen times larger than St. Peter’s dome. Grand as these plans were, the outbreak of war put an end to them.

This 2005 German docudrama (aka Speer und Er) was made for television and is divided into three parts; Germania, Nuremburg and Spandau. Taken as a whole, Speer & Hitler – The Devil’s Architect examines the relationship between these two men and tries to answer the question as to how much Speer knew about the concentration camps. It also includes interviews with Albert Speer’s children as well as German publisher and writer, Wolf Jobst Siedler and historian, journalist, critic and editor, Joachim Fest.

Speer & Hitler - The Devil's Architect

While some parts are dramatised, there’s a lot of footage and images shown of the real Speer and the filmmakers have gone to tremendous lengths to recreate Hitler’s study in the Berlin Reich Chancellery. His desk and furniture in the room were also meticulously replicated from photographs; the film has a lot of detail and the only time it misses out on authenticity is when Tobias Moretti is on screen. His Hitler seems more like someone doing an impression of him rather than “being” him.

Speer & Hitler - The Devil's Architect

Sebastian Koch as Speer gives a credible performance though, capturing the arrogance of the ambitious architect as he falls under the spell of Hitler. Later on when he’s imprisoned after the Nuremberg trials, he spends his time in his cell and wandering around the grounds of Spandau Prison in West Berlin thinking about his part in the deaths of millions of Jews.

It’s a thoughtful film and a very interesting time in history to look back on as Speer, Hitler’s protégé, turns against his master and famously became ‘the Nazi who said sorry’.

Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is an emerging artist with a philosophy degree, working primarily with pastels and graphite pencils, but he also enjoys experimenting with water colours, acrylics, glass and oil paints.

Being on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, he is stimulated by bold, contrasting colours, intricate details, multiple textures, and varying shades of light and dark. Patrick's work extends to sound and video, and when not drawing or painting, he can be found working on projects he shares online with his followers.

Patrick returned to drawing and painting after a prolonged break in December 2016 as part of his daily art therapy, and is now making the transition to being a full-time artist. As a spokesperson for autism awareness, he also gives talks and presentations on the benefits of creative therapy.

Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and science fiction, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.

Patrick Samuel ¦ Asperger Artist

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