LONDON (Nov. 8)
Albert Speer, Hitler’s Minister for Munitions, told the Daily Express today that the German people accepted wartime explanations that Jews were being placed in war camps after Nazi roundups because they wanted to believe it and could have learned the truth “but we did not seek to find it.”
Speer, who was released last month from Spandau Prison in West Berlin after serving a 20-year sentence for war crimes imposed by the Allied Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal, included himself as one of the Germans who could have made “forceful inquiries” and did not do so.
“There is nothing that can absolve me,” he added in the interview. He asserted that “it was made clear at Nuremberg and the court accepted it that I did not know about the concentration camps.” He added that he was “overcome when forced to look at the films of those camps in court.”
Speer told the interviewer that “no German could complain about the Nuremberg trials” and that he welcomed the trials as the first positive fact that took some of the collective guilt from the German people and apportioned it squarely on the shoulders of the leadership. “I have a conscience about the Jews and it is one of the hardest things I have to bear,” he stated. “I think of it constantly.”