The Wannsee Conference, the Fate of German Jews, and Hitler's Decision in Principle to Exterminate All European Jews*

  title={The Wannsee Conference, the Fate of German Jews, and Hitler's Decision in Principle to Exterminate All European Jews*},
  author={Christian Gerlach},
  journal={The Journal of Modern History},
  pages={759 - 812}
  • C. Gerlach
  • Published 1 December 1998
  • History
  • The Journal of Modern History
“The most remarkable thing about the meeting at Wannsee (which was not called the ‘Wannsee Conference’ until after the war) is that we do not know why it took place.” So wrote the celebrated German historian Eberhard Jackel in 1992. Many historians share this view. They find themselves somewhat puzzled with respect to the meeting at Wannsee. On the one hand, the historical significance of the event is largely uncontested. The minutes prepared by Adolf Eichmann constitute a document of central… 
The Wannsee Conference in 1942 and the National Socialist living space dystopia
The Wannsee Conference is still largely understood as the ‘echo’ of an earlier decision to annihilate European Jewry. This article questions this assumption on three grounds. First, it does not fully
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Zentrales Staatsarchiv Minsk 370-1-53, fols. 164 f. (a document first uncovered by Jürgen Matthäus). In a report by the adviser on Jewish affairs for the Commander of the Security Police
  • StA Hamburg 147 Js 29/67, Sonderband E, fols. 66 f.; Minutes of the Proceedings of the Office and Section Leaders Meeting
Hitler was well informed about the progress of efforts to exterminate the Jews and never rejected the idea
    07:26:11 AM All use subject to
    • interrogation of Adolf Eichmann
    At the Wannsee Conference it had been asserted that in Europe there were 11 million Jews, in the European part of the Soviet Union 5 million. The mistake may have been made by the
    • 1942
    BA NS 19/1447, fols. 55 f.; Henry Picker
    • Hitlers Tischgespräche im Führerhauptquartier
    This content downloaded from on
      BA NS 19/1447, fols. 55 f.; Henry Picker, Hitlers Tischgespräche im Führerhauptquartier
      • See Himmler, report notes