Joachim Fest was born in Berlin in 1926 and educated in Freiburg, Frankfurt and Berlin. After the war, in which he served and was taken prisoner, he worked in radio and television before becoming a full-time writer. Following Speer¿s release from Spandau Prison in 1966, Fest worked closely with him as the general editor of Speer¿s memoirs Inside the Third Reich (1970) and Spandau: The Secret Diaries (1976). Fest¿s biography of Hitler is generally regarded as the finest biography of the German dictator in any language. He has been awarded numerous prizes for his historical writing.