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Although Hitler’s extermination of the Jews was well under way by the end of 1941, it was at the Wannsee Conference, January 20, 1942, that Reinhard Heydrich, chief of the Reich Security Service, officially announced the Nazi party’s pursuit of Hitler’s infamous “final solution.” This conference was held at a luxurious villa known as the Wannsee House, and both the house and the conference have a complicated and fascinating history, which unfolded as economic and political events drew together wealthy German businessmen and powerful political figures in sometimes surprising ways. This book traces that history from 1914—the year that saw the foundations laid for both the house and the Holocaust—to the present. Appendices provide a wealth of historical documents including the Reich’s rules “defining” Jews, letters from Reich Security Service officials providing early documentary evidence of the Holocaust, and a transcript of Adolf Eichmann’s 1961 court testimony regarding the Wannsee Conference.

Steven Lehrer is an associate professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He lives in New York.

Wannsee House and the Holocaust   
McFarland & Co, Publishers, ISBN:
[192]pp. photographs, notes, appendices, bibliography, index $32.50 illustrated case binding 2000