The Wannsee Conference and the Final Solution
Author: Mark Roseman
On January 20, 1942, in a grand villa on the shore of Berlin's Lake Wannsee, a conference of Nazi officers produced a paper known as the "Wannsee Protocol," which laid the groundwork for a "final solution to the Jewish Question." This Protocol has always mystified us. How should we understand this calm, business-like discussion of holocaust? And why was the meeting necessary? Hundreds of thousands of Jews had already been shot by squads in Russia or gassed in the camp at Chelmno. Mark Roseman seeks to unravel this double mystery and explain how it was that on a snowy day, fifteen well-educated young men met to talk murder.
In The News
“Disturbing and thought-provoking...A riveting picture of genocide as afterthought, a bureaucratic codification that made up German minds predisposed to accept the decision.” —The News Journal (Delaware)
“Roseman sets out not to solve this mystery [of the Conference] so much as to anatomize it, to dissect the thinking of the key players and to present the central themes, ideas, and intentions of the day. He does so with the same determination and respect that he brought to A Past in Hiding.” —Los Angeles Times
“A cool, judicious, and well-informed guide to the meeting whose minutes were described by the war crimes prosecutors at Nuremberg as ‘perhaps the most shameful document in modern history.'” —Richard J. Evans, author of Lying About Hitler