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Wannsee, Berlin

4.6
#1 of 16 in Nature in Berlin
The Wannsee Conference was a meeting of senior government officials of Nazi Germany and Schutzstaffel leaders, held in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee on 20 January 1942. The purpose of the conference, called by the director of the Reich Main Security Office SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich, was to ensure the cooperation of administrative leaders of various government departments in the implementation of the so-called Final solution to the Jewish question, whereby most of the Jews of German-occupied Europe would be deported to Poland and murdered. Conference attendees included representatives from several government ministries, including state secretaries from the Foreign Office, the justice, interior, and state ministries, and representatives from the SS. In the course of the meeting, Heydrich outlined how European Jews would be rounded up and sent to extermination camps in the General Government, where they would be killed.Soon after the invasion of Poland in September 1939, the persecution of European Jewry was raised to unprecedented levels, but systematic killing of men, women and children only began in June 1941 after the onset of Operation Barbarossa against the Soviets. On 31 July 1941 Hermann Göring gave written authorization to Heydrich to prepare and submit a plan for a "total solution of the Jewish question" in territories under German control and to coordinate the participation of all involved government organisations. At Wannsee, Heydrich emphasized that once the mass deportation was complete, the SS would take complete charge of the exterminations. A secondary goal was to arrive at a definition of who was formally Jewish and thus determine the scope of the genocide.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
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  • Wannsee is a lake complex in the western suburbs of Berlin. There are two itineraries you could put it on your list to visit. First is if going to Potsdam it's right on the way, just exit at Wannsee.....  more »
  • Much larger than I expected. Many yachts and smaller sailing boats. Boats run to a timetable from near the entrance across the lake. Lots of birds to see. Plenty of places for coffee and meals or...  more »

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