The Albert Speer house near the Fuhrer’s Eagles nest on the Obersalzberg – Berchtesgaden, Germany

The Albert Speer house

Exactly across the street from the Gutshof entrance is the road towards what used to be Albert Speer’s house and atelier. The house is still occupied these days.

Albert Speer lived in the Ostertal, a valley somewhere in Bavaria. Here he had a small atelier which was just big enough to house a few drawing tables and some employees. In this little hunting lodge he drew the layout for a new Berlin in 1935.
Berthold Konrad Hermann Albert Speer was born in 1905 in the city of Mannheimm and like his father and grandfather always wanted to be an architect. In 1931 other students took him to a political meeting in Berlin, there he saw and heard Adolf Hitler speak live for the first time. A few weeks later he chose the NSDAP as political party, and joined Adolf Hitler’s group of Nazi’s Albert Speer told an interviewer after the war.  Albert Speers NSDAP party-member number was: 478.481.

In the beginning he was a courier for the NSDAP. But because he was an educated architect, he was called in for a small rebuilding job shortly after. With this small job he stepped in the spotlights of Adolf Hitler and became Hitler’s most important architect. Albert Speer mentioned his living conditions to Adolf Hitler, and  Adolf immediately ordered Bormann to take care of Speer. The Speer family was relocated to an luxurious house on the Obersalzberg near the Fuhrers Berghof.

Albert Speer house in Berchtesgaden Berghof
Albert Speer’s house in Berchtesgaden, Obersalzberg near the Berghof, Hitler’s mountain residence
Albert Speer House close Obersalzberg Germany
Close-up of Albert Speer’s former house at the Obersalzberg in Germany

The Bechstein House

From the start of his political career, Adolf Hitler, received quite some support from Helene Bechstein. Her husband was a piano manufacturer and they donated large sums of money to Hitler’s Nazi party, the NSDAP.
Hitler got spoiled by Helene Bechstein, as a gift he received a luxury Mercedes from her. But this didn’t stop him to disown her from her house on the Obersalzberg when Martin Bormann needed one. By the time Albert Speer was ordered to take up residence on the Obersalzberg, the Bechstein house emptied again especially for the Speer family.

While living in the Bechstein house, Albert Speer designed a house for his family and an atelier for his staff. In 1937 the house and atelier were finished, and Speer left the Bechstein house shortly after.
In his new atelier Hitler and Speer had long conversations about the layout of “the new Berlin” which they named “Germania”, and other majestic building plans throughout Germany. Albert Speer didn’t like living on the Obersalzberg, he lost a big part of his freedom and he compared it to a reserve for wild animals. Hitler had a high regard for Albert Speer. In 1939 he named him a “genius designer and architect”.

Albert Speer Atelier Obersalzberg Germany
Albert Speer’s Atelier at the Obersalzberg in Germany

Minister of Armament and Munitions

In 1942 Dr. Fritz Todt died in a mysterious plane accident. Albert Speer replaced him and was given the title of “Minister of armament and munitions”. He succeeded to greatly improve and increase the weapons production for the ever increasing demanding war machine. In 1943 and 1944, the German war production was at it’s peak, even though they were losing territory on all fronts and Allied bombardments on German industry happened on a daily basis. Görings failing Luftwaffe and thousands of anti-aircraft guns could not stop the Allied bombers. This industrial peak was reached by forcing thousands of foreign slave laborer’s from concentration camps and razzia’s in the occupied territories to work in the German factories, quite often they had to work to death.

The Nuremberg Trails – Spandau Prison

Albert Speer’s trail was processed at Nuremberg where he received a sentence of 20 year imprisonment in the Spandau prison near Berlin. He was the only Nazi that pleaded guilty, which probably saved him from the gallows. His release was on October the first 1966, being released from prison he started to write a few books about his life and his years in prison. He died in 1981 in London, 76 years old.

Albert Speer and Adolf Hitler on the Obersalzberg – courtesy Wikipedia

Inside the Albert Speer Atelier

Bob and Jenelle Flocke stayed in the Albert Speer Atelier for the first time in 1991 and shared some photos with us. We are glad to have permission to publish them on our website. Thank you Bob and Jenelle.

Albert Speer’s Atelier – Bob Flocke – photo 1991
Jenelle Flocke working at one of Albert Speer’s many tables in the sitting area- photo Bob Flocke 1991
The dining area in the Atelier of Albert Speer – photo Bob Flocke 1991
Inside the Albert Speer Atelier – The bar in the dining area- photo by Bob Flocke 1991

Visit the Speer Residence

The Albert Speer house and atelier are civilian residences, so we treated them with respect and tried not to annoy the occupants or invade their privacy.

4 thoughts on “The Albert Speer house near the Fuhrer’s Eagles nest on the Obersalzberg – Berchtesgaden, Germany

Barbara Schrader on

Back in the late 60’s and early 70’s I snow skied there in the winter. There was a large home next to the stabels where we would stay. I have many fond memories of this place and also Berchtesgaden Just by chance I found your article with the pictures. Thank you.
Barbara Schrader

I stayed in Albert Speer’s house while I was there performing with a band called The Heroes on a USO tour. We all stayed in there and It was during the winter and was very snowy. We had to hike up the hill to the main building due to a snow out one night to get to the General Walker Hotel to perform. It was dark and very eerie at some points. I remember when we were approaching the coroded stone walls with the gun turrets fully exposed and could only imagine what it was like during the Nazi occupation.It is a very unique experience to stay there to say the leadt.

Jenelle Flocke on

My husband and I stayed in Albert Speer’s house in Bertchesgaten in 1991 and again in 1995. I was a Public Affairs Specialist at USAREUR headquarters in Europe (Heidelberg), on the BRAC (base closure and realignment commission) team for base closures and Desert Storm/Provide Comfort in Europe and my husband was Chief of Public Affairs for 21st TAACOM in Kaiserslautern. My HQ had turned Hitler’s Bertchesgaten barracks into the Soldiers Recreation Center-Desert Storm which was short-lived since the war only lasted 3 months. Speer’s house was used to house U.S. Field Grade officers (Major through Colonel) and above (General Officers) and their civilian equivalent, and we had the entire house to ourselves. The stairs creaked at night which was a bit creepy, but the house was fabulous!! The second time we stayed there (1995), I worked at American Forces Information Service (now part of DISA) and was working on the consolidation, modernization and digitization of Stars & Stripes newspapers and Armed Forces Radio & Television Service, and the house was unchanged. Last time we went back (post-retirement) in 2016, the whole area had been leveled except Speer’s house (private residence) and had been turned into a German reunification center. History lost.

I visited the Atelier and home exterior as a tourist in 2001 when the Bavarian government was rooting out all of the basements of the buildings in the Nazi complex including the Berghof and SS Kaserne. I stayed in the Zum Turken with a room & balcony overlooking the entrances to the Berghof. The General Walker Hotel/Platterhof was gone replaced by a parking lot. Several years later I made a return day trip and found it nearly impossible to figure out where things had been. As another reviewer commented, “history lost.”

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