The Final Solution

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Hungarian men are being selected for work or death at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Poland, May 1944.
© 2012 Yad Vashem The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority.

“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.”

On 31 July 1941, Hermann Goering orders Reinhard Heydrich to prepare a plan for the ‘Final Solution to the Jewish Question'. 

On June 22 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 implementation of the ’Final solution of the Jewish Question’.

The ’Final solution’ was a code name for the murder of all the Jews of Europe.

The ‘Final Solution’ section of The Holocaust Explained will seek to explain the events and actions which led to the planning of a most grotesque and unique event in history – the state sponsorship, administration and implementation of the murder of each and every Jew in Europe.