Talk:Albert Speer

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Edits by Skirtsy[edit]

I have copied this material from my user talk page:

Currently, the Speer entry is based on "a handful of English-language biographies and histories . . . the kind of reading one would do if you were writing a historical novel". (The quote is from Richard Evans's scathing review of what he called "[p]ossibly the worst" biography of Hitler ever written). When you revert my edit, you restore a propagandistic portrait of Speer that contains untenable assertions based on information that is years, in some cases nearly a decade, out of date. Germans were susceptible to Nazi propaganda because the government was in total control; there is no excuse for you to be keeping the article like something out of Nazi propaganda organs.

Take one egregious example: Before my edit, the lede—the lede—contained this: "Speer was so successful that Germany's war production continued to increase despite massive and devastating Allied bombing." Turning to pp. 556–7 of Tooze's book, which was published six years ago, one discovers: "The German war economy after 1942 was limited by the same fundamental trade-offs that had restricted it since the first years of the war. And by the summer of 1943, these constraints, combined with the first systematic attack against German industry by Allied bombers, brought Speer's 'miracle' to a complete halt." And note Tooze refers to it as a 'miracle' rather than a miracle; you'd know why if you'd have read Tooze's book. It is your error-strewn, moth-eaten article that commits POV—a pro-Speer POV. The same point can be made about Speer's anti-destruction efforts and his purported concern for German civilians.

Perhaps I'm wrong, but I think the fundamental problem is your arrogance not enjoying my correcting your outdated knowledge. You might like to think you know what you're talking about, but I would encourage you to extend your reading beyond standard popular works before involving yourself further. Worse, even if Schwendemann's article is locked away in JSTOR, Tooze's book is available in any major bookshop. Skirtsy My talk Edits 20:03, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

-- Dianna (talk) 21:58, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

Thank you for that. I am happy to engage in a discussion as to updating the article, should it need it, and keeping in mind that newer is not always better.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:13, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
Anything ever come of this? Just curious... — Preceding unsigned comment added by Azx2 (talkcontribs) 05:53, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
No, nothing did.--Wehwalt (talk) 09:12, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Too bad, I would've liked to have seen them defend their claims. I wasn't familiar w/ "Tooney's book," so I looked it up, found the Google book link to "The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy" and saw that it is billed even by the publisher as "controversial" ("Adam Tooze's controversial new book challenges the conventional economic interpretations of that period..."). Then I found an interesting review of it via Amazon (3-star review #1) that makes some strong claims against the author's intellectual honesty...

"The author of the book has a rather deterministic view of the possible outcome of the second world war. While I may disagree with him, I think that he presents his view with sound arguments, but he is not very intellectually honest (or maybe he doesn't know many statistical material concerning the second world war). My criticisms here concern mostly his coverage of the military aspects of the war, with of course, tend to be inferior to his coverage of economic aspects of the war, with are his specialty. He wants to defend his view that the outcome of the second world war was given as victory to the allies and that Germany didn't stand a chance of surviving a war against them, however he defends that view using distorted statistics...In several parts of the book he apparently selected his statistics to reflect his views..."

My point? I agree, like you said, newer is not always better, and beware books that the publisher pushes as being controversial or debate-stirring, and actually judge 'em on the quality of the scholarship and proficiency of the writing... Azx2 21:18, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Tooze, Tooze, Tooze…[edit]

I see your dedication to Speer remains undiminished, Wehwalt—most interesting. And I see I'm not the only one to have noticed it (how can you miss it?)—this is from way back in 2008, and this from 2012. You remind me of the first paragraph of an article of yesteryear I read one time. I also do not believe it unfair to mention WP:OWN.

Surely, Wehwalt, there are more constructive things to be doing on Wikipedia than obfuscating the crimes and playing up the self-serving propaganda of a leading Nazi? I have a number of revisions to make; looks like this is going to be painfully time-consuming. I can assure you that, in addition to making sure all of Tooze's findings on Speer appear prominently, a certain 2003 article by Heinrich Schwendemann—it documents mistake by both Sereny and Fest, yet is not so much as mentioned—is going to be emptied into this article as well. Other books will also be deployed. So, let's begin.

Yale professor Adam Tooze says in his multi-award-winning book that the first systematic bombing brought the armaments "miracle" to a halt.

One can't win when trying to make this first revision about the effect of Allied bombing: when it was added without a source, it got reverted because it was "unsourced"; I then added it with a source and it still got reverted. (I also note that this complaint—about the effect of the bombing—has been brought before, again way back in 2009). I don't even see where the room for discussion is. Tooze's book is unquestionably RS—it's the best study of the Nazi economy we have—but perhaps you have some personal correspondence with Tooze in which he admits that you have shown him the error of his ways.

The Knowledge of the Holocaust section is truly bizarre; you couldn't even guess from the article that he basically admitted he knew about the Holocaust to Sereny, but we'll come to that in due course. For now, how about p. 704 of her biography?

I believe that after Posen—whether he actually attended Himmler's speech or not—he knew about the long planned and almost completed genocide of the Jews, including the women and children.

Let's finish up with Hilberg 2003, p. 867:

From early 1943 to the beginning of 1945, one man in particular attempted to integrate the Hungarian army's Jewish labor service into his industrial machine. This man was Reich Minister of Armaments and chief of the Organisation Todt, Albert Speer. Some very important developments during the "Final Solution" phase of the Hungarian destruction process are traceable to his efforts.

Anyway, over to you regarding the first revision. --YeOldeGentleman (talk) 22:49, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

One more thing about Tooze. In a review of Bella Gutterman's A Narrow Bridge (2008), Christopher Browning said, "The major weakness of the book is the placement of her topic in the wider scholarship and debate over the interplay of Nazi ideology and economic and labor policy on the other. For wider context, she relies on older works"—including, unfortunately, "a relatively uncritical use of Albert Speer". (Sounds like the crusty old Nazi Speer isn't all that reliable, wouldn't you say?) Other important works, continues our leading Holocaust scholar, are "[b]arely touched" by Gutterman. "Not used at all", Browning admonishes finally, is "Adam Tooze on the Nazi economy". --YeOldeGentleman (talk) 23:16, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
Tooze's view is interesting and it has a place in the article. As Tooze's view. As I see it, we're arguing about two things: the degree of increase in armaments and other industrial products related thereto, and the extent to which Speer is due praise for it. Surely we can find language that mentions both the more traditional view of Speer's armaments work, and Tooze's, in a way that is not overly long. As for Sereny's view, I've thought quite a bit about including it. It's her belief, and yet it is a person who spoke much with Speer, and has studied him as much as anyone. My thought is including it would be coming down a bit too heavily on one side of the scales, and we should focus on facts, and leave the who believes who for the reader's further research. And for what it's worth, I agree. Speer knew, the operations it took to transport and murder Jews were extensive enough they could not have gone on without his knowledge, in his position. It simply ... wasn't important to him, other than professionally.--Wehwalt (talk) 23:22, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I was fairly surprised when I stumbled on this article today to see that it presents the orthodox view (i.e., Speer's view) as the default and shunts Tooze to the Legacy section - while the intent might be to present both and let the readers decide, structuring it in this way certainly does not do that. And Tooze's book is pretty widely accepted among military and German historians, at least in the US. While Wikipedia should be conservative with some things (for instance, on English usage), it should certainly reflect recent scholarship over older works. Parsecboy (talk) 21:45, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
Well, then it behooves me to get a copy. This article was written seven or eight years ago.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:16, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
It's fairly hefty, but well worth the read. Parsecboy (talk) 17:28, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

Material about a pamphlet[edit]

I don't think material about a pamphlet as added in this diff should be included in the article. I have removed it. Posting here to open discussion to see if there's any consensus to include it. -- Diannaa (talk) 05:03, 30 October 2015 (UTC)

Ventilation shaft[edit]

(1) The video that is used as a citation for this material is a copyright violation, as it was uploaded to YouTube by "John Doe", not the copyright holder of the film. (2) The bunker must have had ventilation – air intakes and outlets of some kind – else the occupants would have suffocated. @Kierzek: you have source material on the Fuhrerbunker and may be interested in commenting here. – Diannaa 🍁 (talk) 14:30, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

I'd oppose keeping it. The article already includes contemporary comments about the bunker/air shaft that make it clear that some mocked him at the time (not having a ladder). I don't see the point in adding something 70 years on. The purpose seems to be to additionally discredit Speer Sr. and I think there's POV issues with it. Especially with where it is placed in the lede, or it being placed in the lede at all.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:06, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
I would be glad to look into it when I get home as I do have good RS books on the subject of the bunker, Diannaa. With that said, at this point there is no consensus to include it; in review, I agree with Wehwalt as to it having POV issues. Cheers, Kierzek (talk) 15:25, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
"to additionally discredit Speer Sr. …"
Still fighting hard for Speer, Wehwalt! It is a thankless task; it is an impossible task. Can you imagine if someone wrote, "The purpose of this small addition to the article seems to be to additionally discredit Hitler." Wow. If I could do so, I would ban this guy from editing this article and any others relating to Speer.
As for the 2005 documentary: I could not care less about whether or not it stays. It can do precisely nothing to "further discredit" Speer, since the guy was a leading Nazi. Further "discreditation" ought to be impossible. My reason for I reverting the apologist's excision was that he performed it with a false claim that the material was in the lead (it quite clearly was not). --YeOldeGentleman (talk) 17:24, 4 November 2015 (UTC)