Spandau: The Secret Diaries was written by the second most powerful man in Nazi Germany at the end of World War II, Albert Speer. This book was the product of this individual's effort to retain his strength and sanity during twenty years' near-solitary confinement through feats of self-discipline and moral reeducation.
"...these thousands of notes are one concentrated effort to survive, an endeavor not only to endure life in a cell physically and intellectually, but also to arrive at some sort of moral reckoning with what lay behind it all." --Speer
Over the years of confinement, Speer secretly wrote his memoirs in a minuscule scrawl on tobacco wrappings, pages of calendars, and toilet paper. Under constant peril of cell searches, he concealed his notes in the sole lining of a shoe and in the bandage wrapped around his leg to relieve his phlebitis, and managed to persuade sympathetic guards to smuggle them to the outside world.
At the stroke of midnight, October 1, 1966, Speer was released. Waiting at home of relatives were the 25,000 pages of his notes.
"...I shied away from looking at that mass of papers which is all that has remained of my life between my fortieth and my sixtieth years. There are various reasons for my presenting this journal now. But ultimately it is an attempt to give form to the time that seemed to be pouring away so meaninglessly, to give substance to years empty of content.
Diaries are usually the accompaniment of a lived life. This one stands in place of a life." --Speer
Other works of Albert Speer:
Inside the Third Reich