January 20, 1942 The Wannsee Conference
The Wannsee Conference was convened by Reinhard Heydrich on 20 January 1942 in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee and brought together some 15 Nazi leaders of government departments who were responsible for policies which were linked to Jewish issues. The initial purpose of the meeting was to discuss plans for a comprehensive solution to the “Jewish question in Europe.”
Heydrich addressed the meeting indicating the policy of emigration was superseded by a policy of evacuating Jews to the east. This was seen to be only a temporary solution leading up to a final solution which would involve some 11 million Jews living not only in territories controlled then by the Germans, but to major countries in the rest of the world including the UK, and the US.
There was little doubt what the solution was: “Heydrich also made it clear what was understood by the phrase ‘Final Solution': the Jews were to be annihilated by a combination of forced labour and mass murder.”
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