The Wannsee Conference and the Final Solution
Preface by the author
The chilling account of the Nazi conference to finalise the plans for genocide, with a new preface by author Mark Roseman.
In 1947, American prosecutors were collecting information for the Nuremberg trials when they discovered a few pieces of paper, stamped Geheime Reichssache (Secret Reich matter). These were the minutes of a meeting that had taken place between top Nazi civil servants, SS officials and party representatives on 20 January 1942 in a grand Berlin villa on the shores of Lake Wannsee.
Written in dry, bureaucratic language, the document lays out a plan for genocide: 'In the course of the final solution ... Jews fit to work will work their way eastward constructing roads. Doubtless the large majority will be eliminated by natural causes. Any final remnant that survives ... will have to be dealt with appropriately.'
The document goes on to consider how to deal with half Jews, Jews married to Germans and war-decorated Jews, suggesting forced sterilisation or an 'old-age ghetto' in order to avoid public objection. It has been called 'perhaps the most shameful document of modern history'.