Albert Speer: His Battle With Truth
September 3, 2020

Book Review: Albert Speer: His Battle With Truth

-Simon White

Albert Speer: His Battle With TruthAlbert Speer: His Battle With Truth by Gitta Sereny is a psychological and historical profile of Albert Speer. Speer was Hitler’s architect and later, Minister of Armaments and War Production. At one point, he was groomed as Hitler’s successor. In the Nuremberg Trials he was one of the only Nazis to admit some responsibility for the war crimes of the Third Reich and to renounce Hitler. This admission saved his life and he was sentenced to twenty years in prison.

Sereny was an Austro-Hungarian journalist and author. She was anti-Nazi and present in France during the occupation. She interviewed and researched Speer for over a decade, along with many of his companions and contemporaries.

Unlike many journalists and authors, Sereny did not allow her privileged access to her subjects to dissuade her from critical analysis. Throughout her book, she repeatedly exposed Speer’s deception regarding his claim that he was ignorant of the Holocaust through her extensive research of his life and from the testimony of his associates and family members.

However, this book did not engage in “gotcha journalism,” Sereny presents a nuanced portrait of Speer that shows both his positive and negative sides. Her thought provoking writing explores themes of individual and general culpability, redemption, and acceptance of responsibility as a means to deny wider guilt..

Animal rightsMW
Animal Rights and the Challenge of Activism

Animal Rights and the Challenge of Activism


Painting by José Jiménez Aranda at The Walters Art Museum

“How do you know someone is vegan?” “Don’t worry, they’ll tell you!” We all know it. Animal Rights activists are annoying and pushy. They will ‘shove their beliefs down your throat’ when you are just trying to enjoy your lunch. Whether How I Met Your Mother or South Park is your show of choice, you will have seen this notorious creature represented on screen, and given the recent growth in the movement, you probably know someone in your own life who always ruins a dinner party. Maybe you, like me, are the annoying vegan.

Free speechHate SpeechMark White
How to counter Holocaust denial–a particular type of hate speech

How to counter Holocaust denial–a particular type of hate speech


Treblinka train station sign

What does it mean, to ‘counter hate speech with more speech’?

Hint: it doesn’t mean 5 minutes for the Jews and 5 minutes for Hitler.

In 1971, over the course of several months, historian Gitta Sereny trudged regularly into a prison in Dusseldorf, Germany to sit across a small table from Franz Stangl, former commandant of the extermination camp Treblinka. Between April and June of that year, Sereny collected over 70 hours of interviews with Stangl who died on June 28–within hours of her last visit. For the following 18 months Sereny continued researching details of the stories Stangl had told her and to speak to people who had known him when he was in charge of killing operations at Treblinka.