Monday, December 26, 2011

Before the Wannsee Conference Expansion of the Combat Zone

Seventy years ago, in December 1941, Japan began a war with the attack on Pearl Harbor that was joined a few days later by the Nazi Reich with its declaration of war on the USA. Thereby the European and Pacific wars became a world war.

On January 20, 1942, fifteen high-ranking bureaucrats of the Nazi regime came together for a conference, which later would become known as the "Wannsee Conference". It was no longer necessary at that time to come to a decision about the murder of the European Jews because it had already been underway for some time. The hitherto disenfranchisement, persecution and expulsion of the Jews had been replaced in the previous months by the extermination of the Jews.

In the following article, which appeared on December 11, 2011 in the Berlin daily "Tagesspiegel", the Berlin historian Ernst Piper describes the beginning of the Holocaust. Piper is known for his biography of Alfred Rosenberg, whom he characterized as "Hitler's principal ideologue". We thank Ernst Piper for his friendly permission to publish his article on our site, as well as the English translation by Gord McFee.

The German version is available here:

The English translation here: