Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Wannsee conference was the discussion by a group of Nazi officials about the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question" (Endlösung der Judenfrage). It took place on January 20, 1942 in the Wannsee Villa overlooking the Wannsee lake in southwestern Berlin and would lead to the Holocaust.
Discussion centered on the aim of the expulsion of the Jews from every sphere of life of the German people and the expulsion of the Jews from the living space of the German people. Measures to date were discussed and the concept of the 'deportation' of the Jews to the East was introduced - for "appropriate labour... in the course of which action doubtless a large portion will be eliminated by natural causes", the "final remnant will... have to be treated accordingly, because it... would, if released, act as a the seed of a new Jewish revival". The number of Jews in Europe were enumerated (roughly 11 million) and the methods of evacuation were considered with regard to age and country of origin. The treatment of people with 'mixed blood' was also carefully discussed.
Dr. Josef Bühler pushed Heydrich to implement the final solution in the General Government. As far as he was concerned, the main problem within the General Government was an overdeveloped black market that disorganised the work of the authorities. He saw a remedy in solving the Jewish question in the country as fast as possible. An additional point in favour was that there were no transportation problems there.
The meeting is noted as the first discussion of the 'final solution' and also because the records and minutes of the meeting were found intact by the Allies at the end of WW II and used during the Nuremberg Trials.
The protocol of the meeting was prepared by Adolf Eichmann aided by Reinhard Heydrich and does not explicitly mention mass murder; Eichmann later admitted at his trial that the actual language used during the conference was much more blunt and included terms such as "extermination" and "annihilation". The T-4 Euthanasia Program discusses such protocols.
- SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich (Chief of the Secret Security Police (Gestapo) and the SD)
- Gauleiter Dr. Alfred Meyer (Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern territories)
- Reichsamtleiter Dr. Georg Leibbrandt (Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern territories)
- Dr. Wilhelm Stuckart (Reich Ministry for the Interior)
- Dr. Erich Neumann (Head of the Four Year Plan Office)
- Dr. Roland Freisler (Reich Ministry of Justice)
- Dr. Josef Bühler (Government of the General Government)
- Dr. Martin Luther (Foreign Office)
- SS-Oberführer Gerhard Klopfer (Party Chancellery)
- Ministerialdirektor Friedrich Wilhelm Kritzinger (Reich Chancellery)
- SS-Gruppenführer Otto Hofmann (Race and Settlement Main Office)
- SS-Gruppenführer Heinrich Muller
- SS-Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann (Reich Main Security Office (Gestapo))
- SS-Oberführer Dr. Karl Eberhard Schongarth (Commander of the SD)
- SS-Sturmbannführer Dr. Rudolf Lange (Commander of the SD for Latvia)
The events of the Conference are dramatized in two films. A 1984 German television movie Wannseekonferenz (The Wannsee Conference) runs 85 minutes, exactly the length of the conference itself, and the script was derived from actual minutes of the meeting. In 2001 came an English-language production, Conspiracy, starring Kenneth Branagh as Heydrich. Both films have received high critical acclaim.
- English translation of the Wannsee Protocol - the transcript of the conference
- House of the Wannsee Conference - official page of the memorial site.
- Wannseekonferenz (1984) - in the Internet Movie Database
- Conspiracy (2001) - in the Internet Movie Database
- Holocaust Encyclopedia Article on the Wannsee Conference - from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details