House of the Wannsee Conference

27 11 2007

The Villa Marlier on Am Großen Wannsee 56-58, the place where the conference dealing with the “Final Solution to the Jewish Problem” was held back on 20 January 1942, is nowadays a memorial and educational center.

Villa Marlier on Am Großen Wannsee

It is located across the Grosser Wannsee Lake, and most of the other houses on the street are Yacht clubs. A very weird place to find such a memorial in, but, as Shooky said when we got there, a very good place to relax and make important decisions.

View from the window of the villa

It is hard to imagine how a group of intelligent and mostly educated people could gather there, one day in January, sit down to the conference table and discuss the annihilation of millions of human beings. But then again, as we have learned so many times, again and again, nothing about the human beings is beyond imagination.

In the memorial and educational center, you learn about the participants of this conference. You also learn about the Nazi party’s political rise, including propaganda posters and elections results. You learn about their anti-Semitic ideology, its expressions and progress. You can also listen to speeches from back then (I was particularly interested in Hitler’s speech about the planned course of making the youth in Germany into functioning and dedicated soldiers of the Reich).

A Nazi propaganda sheet about racist purity

And you can also read about the consequences, the aftermath – on the walls of the last room of the exhibitions, there are quotes of people belonging to the second generation, such as our Yehuda Poliker and Yaakov Gilad, second generation to the Holocaust, also musicians, who also did a film called “because of that war“, which is one of the most touching films about this “second generation” phenomena. Also quoted there is , “that” Himmler’s great-niece, who married an Israeli and has a lot of interesting and hopeful things to say about dealing with this burden. She also wrote a book, which I hope to read soon, called “The Himmler Brothers“.

Poliker Katrin Himmler

Some Links:

The Wansee Conference (1)

The Wansee Conference (2)

The Wansee Protocol

About Poliker

About Katrin Himmler and her book

The official site of the memorial can be found here.



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