I have a new idea to make myself exercise regularly to the point of exhaustion: I have begun, along with the garden work, to walk the distance from Berlin to Heidelberg – 626 kilometres! For that purpose, I have marked out a circular course in the garden. Lacking a tape measure, I measured my shoe, paced off the distance step by step, and multiplied by the number of paces. Placing one foot ahead of the other 870 times, thirty-one centimetres to a step, yields 270 metres for a round. If I had taken a different route, along the prison wall, I could have made my track 350 metres. But because of the better view, I prefer this other track. This project is a training of the will, a battle against the endless boredom… I asked Hess, since he was sitting so comfortably on his bench, to note each of my rounds on the walk to Heidelberg by drawing a line in the sand. He stood up, walked slowly over to our bean rows, and gave me thirty beans. “Put these in your left pocket, and after every round drop one in the right pocket. At night you can count them up. Clear?” Then he walked back into the building.

Albert Speer, prison diary, September 30th 1954.


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