Speer und Er (Speer and Him) is a German docudrama biopic miniseries about Adolf Hitler's chief architect and Minister of Armaments Albert Speer (Sebastian Koch). Split into three episodes, it covers Speer's relationship with Hitler (Tobias Moretti) before and during World War II, the Nuremberg Trials, and his twenty-year imprisonment for war crimes.
The series combines dramatized footage with historical stock footage and documentary interviews featuring historians and Speer's living relatives.
This series provides examples of:
- Armor-Piercing Question: There's a scene where Speer is questioned after the war by a group of Allied officers. After Speer basically casts himself as an Anti-Villain and Only Sane Employee, he gets reminded that this possibly makes him worse than the outright fanatics. An officer points out that Speer fully understood that the people he worked for were murderers and thugs, yet knowingly applied his skills to prolong the war. He then asks Speer "How can you explain that to me? How can you justify it? How can you bear to live with yourself?"
- Gun Stripping: When Speer first meets (then Chancellor) Hitler, the latter is busy disassembling and cleaning his sidearm, and only barely glances at the architectural plans for an upcoming rally he is supposed to evaluate before dismissing him.
- Historical Hero Upgrade: Explicitly averted. Speer's participation in Nazi war crimes is never glossed over, but he's not portrayed as a cardboard cut-out villain either.
- Homoerotic Subtext: Discussed Trope. Hitler actually tells Speer's fiance that he needs to "borrow" her husband for his plans, and by the end of the war their falling-out resembles a marriage in crisis. Speer's oldest son put it down to Hitler's "Austrian charm".
- In Medias Res: The first episode opens with Speer and the other major surviving Nazis in prison being handed the indictments that formed the basis for the Nuremberg Trials. The events leading up to and set during the war are then told through flashbacks. The third episode covers Speer's twenty-year sentence in Spandau Prison.
- Nazi Protagonist: Whether or not he genuinely repented after the war, Speer was Nazi Germany's Minister of Armaments and a close friend of Hitler.
- New Era Speech: Speer is first drawn to Hitler by a calm, passionate, erudite speech he gives to a crowd of university graduates about Germany's future. This is Truth in Television: Hitler is often portrayed as a raving madman during his speeches, but the reason he was such a charismatic public speaker was because he would only get into Milking the Giant Cow mode towards the very end of an hour-long political monologue. He would always start slow to acclimate his audience or tailor to the crowd.
- This Is What the Building Will Look Like: Speer gives Hitler a model demonstration of what his megalomaniacal architectural plans for Berlin will look like once finished.
- Tragedy: The whole miniseries depicts Speer's life like this: an ambitious man whose overbearing pride and desire to see his architectural dreams realized drove him to employ his abilities in the service of evil, later resulting in his own fall from grace.