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Albert Speer was born on March 19 1905 to an upper middle class family in Manhein Germany The second of three sons he followed the family tradition when in 1925 he enrolled at the Institute of Technology in Berlin-Charlottenburg and became a third-generation Neo-Classical architect He was greatly influenced by his professor at that time Heinrich Tessenow and upon graduation two years later became his assistant After reading Spenglers Decline of the West Spear became greatly discouraged convinced that Germany was in a similar state of decay to that of the late Roman Empire Then in 1931 he heard Adolf Hitler addressing college students at a beer hall Although initially sceptical of Hitlers reputation and his rough followers the enthusiasm of the crowd Hitlers respectable and calm appearance and the historical lecture he delivered impressed Speer immensely Within weeks he had joined the National Socialist German Workers Party NSDAP and shortly after became a member of the Schutz Staffeinel SS His first commission as a Party member came in 1933 when Joseph Goebbels asked him to renovate the Propaganda Ministry Goebbels was impressed with his work and recommended him to Hitler who assigned him to help Paul Troost renovate the Chancellery in Berlin The year 1933 was to be a turning point for Albert Speer No longer just a promising architect he assumed a role where his actions and advice could arguably have changed the political direction Germany was taking He was in constant and close contact with Hitler often eating lunch and dinner with him Hitler would often ring Speer late at night and invite him to accompany him to a favourite cafe where they would often stay and talk until two or three in the morning Hitler avoided cultivating similar friendships with party leaders such as Goering and Hess as he was suspicious of their motives Speers prominence as a member of Hitlers inner sanctum strengthened when Troost died
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