Symposium in memory of 80 years of the Wannsee Conference

A three-day symposium in Berlin will take place on 80 years of the Wannsee Conference, at which leading Nazi officials set in motion the extermination of European Jewry.

The Berlin memorial and educational site “Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz” announced on its website that the symposium on the relevance of the Wannsee conference for history and contemporary awareness of the Shoah will take place on 19 January 2022.

The 1942 Wannsee conference was a 90-minute meeting in what was then the guest house of the SS on the Great Wannsee. It is considered the decisive landmark for the systematic extermination of the Jews in Europe. The only item on the agenda was the so-called “Final Solution of the Jewish Question.”

Minutes of the meeting exist which, according to historians, demonstrate the bureaucratic and character of the genocide of the Jews. At that point, however, the fate of the Jews in Europe was already sealed: Hundreds of thousands of Jews had already died in mass shootings in eastern Poland and the occupied Soviet Union.

To kick off the hybrid symposium, German-Israeli historian Dan Diner will speak about the significance of the Wannsee Conference for awareness of the Holocaust today. Berlin’s Senator for Culture Klaus Lederer is also expected to attend.

Other speakers will include historians Deborah Lipstadt and Sybille Steinbacher and the director of the Jewish Museum Berlin, Hetty Berg.

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