- What was the Holocaust?
- Judaism and Jewish life
- What is antisemitism?
- How did the Nazis gain power?
- Life in Nazi-controlled Europe
- What were camps?
- What was the Final Solution?
- How did people respond?
- Survival and legacy
“In completion of the task which was entrusted to you… …[on] January 24, 1939, of solving the Jewish question… …in the most convenient way possible… …I [now] charge you with making all necessary preparations… …for an overall solution of the Jewish question…
I further charge you with submitting to me promptly an overall plan… …for the execution of the intended final solution of the Jewish question.”
During the summer of 1941, in breach of Hitler’s agreement with Joseph Stalin, Germany invaded the Soviet Union. Following the German army into battle were the Einsatzgruppen. Local people supported these killing squads, one of the main tasks of which was to kill all Jewish men, women and children in the areas that were being conquered. By December 1941, over 500,000 Soviet Jews had been murdered.
However, for the Nazis leadership, conventional killing methods were insufficient and inefficient.
On 20 January 1942, 15 leading officials of the Nazi state met at a villa in Wannsee, a suburb of Berlin, to discuss the ’Final solution of the Jewish Question’.
The ’Final solution’ was a code name for the murder of all the Jews of Europe. The people present at the conference were to discuss how to make mass murder happen in an organised and methodical way.