opened the conference with a long review of Jewish
emigration since 1933 with an ill-informed survey, produced by Eichmann
department, of the number of Jews under Axis influence.
described how the campaign in Russia had made the Madagascar
project obsolete (the plan to use Madagascar as a Jewish Colony), and he set out the heart of the matter:
In big labour gangs with separation of sexes, the Jews who
are capable of work are brought to these areas (in the Eastern occupied territories)
and employed in road building, in which task undoubtedly a large part will fall out through
natural diminution. The remnant that is able fully to survive all this, since this is unquestionably
the part with the strongest resistance, must be given treatment accordingly, because these people,
representing a natural selection, are to be regarded as the germ-cell of a new Jewish
development, should they be allowed to go free
Following this Heydrich
went through a long list
of exemptions, which he had tried to prevent. The Jews who were exempted from deportation were:
- Half Jews who would be sterilised
- Jews with only one Jewish grandparent, unless they had an unfavourable appearance, or a bad political or police appraisal
- Jewish war workers
- The Jews who were to be deported from the Reich
to the special ghetto at
Those over 65 years old, Jews with serious disablements, and Jews with decorations from WW1.
Dr Josef Bühler
demanded at the conference
that the “Final Solution” should be applied first to the Jews of the Generalgouvernement
The minutes of the conference stated:
announced that the
would welcome it, if the final solution of this problem would begin in the
, as on the one hand, the question of transport there played no major role,
and consideration of labour supply would not hinder the course of the Aktionen
Jews must be removed as quickly as possible from the Generalgouvernement
, because it was there
in particular that the Jew, as a carrier of epidemics, constituted a great danger, and, at the same time,
caused constant disorder in the economic structure of the country by his continuous black-market dealings.
Furthermore, of the approximately two and a half million Jews under consideration, the majority were in
any case unfit for work.
further stated that the solution of the Jewish
question in the Generalgouvernement
was primarily the responsibility of the Chief of Security Police
and the SD and that his work would have the support of the authorities of the Generalgouvernement
. He had
only one request: That the "Jewish question" in this area should be solved as quickly as possible. His request
was granted, thus setting in train
, and the
"Final Solution to the Jewish question in Europe
under Nazi influence.
The Wannsee Conference was no more than a luncheon party, convened for twelve o’clock and finished
the same afternoon. The minutes of the meeting were prepared by
, and were found intact at the end of the war.
They were used in the Nürnberg
Trials, held in 1946.
Special thanks to the House of The Wannsee Konferenz (Berlin):
Gerald Reitlinger. The Final Solution
, Vallentine, Mitchell and Co ltd., 1953
Arad, Yitzhak. Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka - The Operation Reinhard Death Camps
, Indiana University Press,
Bloomington and Indianapolis, 1987
Wikipedia: The Wannsee Conference
© ARC 2005