Albert Speer Jr
Architect and son of Nazi minister BORN JULY 29, 1934 DIED SEPTEMBER 15, 2017, AGED 83
HE followed his father into the same profession but Albert Speer Jr spent his entire life trying to distance himself from his namesake and the man Hitler considered one of his closest confidants.
Known as “the devil’s architect” Speer Snr designed and constructed the Reich Chancellery and eventually rose to become minister of armaments and war production in 1942.
Three years later he was convicted in Nuremberg of war crimes and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
For his son Albert Jr it marked the beginning of a lifetime of questions about his father’s involvement with the Nazis.
In 2005 he took part in a TV documentary about his father but said little about him thereafter.
Born in Berlin and the eldest of six children, Albert Jr was a fourthgeneration architect who became known for his ecologically sustainable public works projects across Europe, Asia and Africa.
After his father’s imprisonment the family moved to Heidelberg to live with grandparents but prior to that Albert Jr used to play on the veranda of Hitler’s Alpine retreat.
“From the perspective of a young boy,” he once recalled, “Hitler was a nice uncle to me. I was allowed to play with the dogs, I got sweets. I was seven or eight, we didn’t know…”
In 1964 he set up his own urban planning practice, later known as Albert Speer & Partner (AS&P) and the business now employs 200 staff in offices in Frankfurt and Shanghai.
The firm’s most celebrated works include the successful Qatar 2022 World Cup bid and the Central Axis of Beijing, a scheme designed while serving as lead designer for the 2008 Summer Olympics.
His death followed an operation on a broken hip sustained in a fall. He is survived by his wife Ingmar Zeisberg, an actress.
OLYMPICS: Speer was lead designer