65th Anniversary of Wannsee
Published on January 20, 2007 By Larry Kuperman In History
On January 20th, 1942 a meeting was held by senior Nazi officers in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee. The purpose: to inform participants of plans for the "Final Solution of the Jewish problem." That solution being the extermination of the 11 million Jews living in Europe.

By the time the Wannsee meeting was held, hundreds of thousands of Jews had already been killed, mostly in Russia. Deportation of Jews from occupied territories, beginning with Germany and Austria, to labor camps in Poland and Russia was well under way. Quoting from the Wannsee meeting minutes:

"In the course of the practical execution of the final solution, Europe will be combed through from west to east. Germany proper, including the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, will have to be handled first due to the housing problem and additional social and political necessities.

The evacuated Jews will first be sent, group by group, to so-called transit ghettos, from which they will be transported to the East. "

Discussion was held on how to determine who was Jewish, specifically the fate of those from mixed backgrounds. "Persons of mixed blood of the first degree will, as regards the final solution of the Jewish question, be treated as Jews."

The meeting records show a discussion of forced deportation and forced labor. But once the official part of the meeting ended and cognac was served, the tone changed. According to Adolf Eichmann, "The gentlemen were standing together, or sitting together", he said, "and were discussing the subject quite bluntly, quite differently from the language which I had to use later in the record. During the conversation they minced no words about it at all... they spoke about methods of killing, about liquidation, about extermination."

Approximately half the Jews of Europe would be killed over the next three years. Recently, a disturbing trend has emerged of revising the number of Jews killed in the camps downward. Was it really 6 million or "only" 5 million? Do you count persons of mixed heritage as Jews, as the Nazis did, or group them with "other" to make the effect on the Jewish community seem less severe? How do you assess the numbers found in mass graves or in ashes from the crematoria? Such debates are, to me, offensive in the extreme.

If you have any questions about what really happened after Wannsee, here is a link for pictures of the Holocaust: Link

A recent comment that I found about the verifiability of the Holocaust is particularly poignant and deserves quotation. "There is grisly film of the atrocities; the shootings and the gassings and the sheer horror were all meticulously filmed and clerically processed by the Nazis. They manufactured soap from the corpses; they made lampshades of tattooed human skins. The ash heaps at Auschwitz are 12 feet high today and extend miles. The evidence of what occurred is abundant."


on Jan 20, 2007
A good article can also be found on Wikipedia at Link

on Jan 20, 2007
The Holocaust began 9 years before that, but it just took people a while to recognize it. Hitler never hid his hatred of the Jews, and when Hindenberg appointed him Chancellor, the die was cast.

But the magnitude of his acts should never be diminished, and those that try to pretend it did not happen should be refuted with the facts. This is not a "theory" that can be dimissed due to lack of evidence. The evidence is there for all to see except the hatefilled and morons.
on Jan 20, 2007
Great article. And the fool in Iran tries to deny it ever happened.
on Jan 20, 2007
Thank you both for commenting.

Dr. Guy, you are correct in that the persecutions started in January of 1933. "After January 1933, the Jews became the "Untermenschen" - the sub-humans. Nazi thugs stopped Germans from shopping in Jewish shops. By 1934, all Jewish shops were marked with the yellow Star of David or had the word "Juden" written on the window. SA men stood outside the shops to deter anyone form entering."

In 1938, the Krystalnacht or Night of Broken Glass occured. But as to the word "Holocaust" as a description "According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word was first used to describe Hitler's treatment of the Jews from as early as 1942, though it did not become a standard reference until the 1950s." After Wannsee, attacks reached a new level. Individual attacks, mass deporations, even murders of groups, were no longer enough for the Nazis. They would now begin the true genocide.

"In the spring of 1942, the Aktion Reinhard camps began operating. Carbon monoxide was used in the gas chambers at Belzec, Sobibór, and Treblinka, whereas Zyklon B was employed at Majdanek and Auschwitz.

The disposal of large numbers of bodies presented a logistical problem as well. Incineration was at first considered infeasible until it was discovered that furnaces could be kept at a high enough temperature to be sustained by the body fat of the bodies alone. With this technicality resolved, the Nazis implemented their plan of mass murder on its full scale."

Quotes from History Learning site and Wikipedia respectively.

on Jan 20, 2007

But as to the word "Holocaust" as a description "According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word was first used to describe Hitler's treatment of the Jews from as early as 1942,

Oh, I am familiar with the time line.  I just meant that it did not spring up over night in 42.  The seeds were sown when Hitler got power.  Or more precisely, the catalyst was.  As the seeds were sown long before that in a hospital bed on 11/11/1918.

on Jan 20, 2007
For those not familiar with Dr. Guy's reference : "On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month 86 years ago today, the guns on the Western Front fell silent. "

World War I ended on November 11, 1918.
on Jan 20, 2007

World War I ended on November 11, 1918.

And where Hitler heard of the surrender, and blamed the Jews for it.