In 1971 letter Speer admitted knowing of Holocaust plan





BERLIN -- A newly discovered letter by Adolf Hitler's architect and armaments minister Albert Speer offers proof that he knew about the plans to exterminate the Jews, despite his repeated claims to the contrary.

Writing in 1971 to Hélène Jeanty, the widow of a Belgian resistance leader, Speer admitted that he had been at a conference where Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS and Gestapo, had unveiled plans to exterminate the Jews in what is known as the Posen speech. Speer's insistence that he had left before the end of the meeting, and had therefore known nothing about the Holocaust, probably spared him from execution after the Nuremberg trials at the end of the second world war...

In the letter to Jeanty, written on December 23 1971, Speer wrote: "There is no doubt -- I was present as Himmler announced on October 6, 1943 that all Jews would be killed". He continued: "Who would believe me that I suppressed this, that it would have been easier to have written all of this in my memoirs?"

Speer, who died in London in 1981, denied knowing about the Holocaust in his best-selling 1969 book, Inside the Third Reich...


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