The Wannsee Conference - which was initially scheduled for December 9, 1941 but postponed on short notice - took place on January 20, 1942 at a suburban villa on the shores of Berlin's Wannsee lake. Chaired by Reinhard Heydrich, chief of the Reich Security Main Office (Reichssicherheitshauptamt), 15 high-ranking officials of the German bureaucracy, the SS- and police-apparatus discussed the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question", while enjoying the lovely sight of the villa's gardens and the lake. It was only after the Protocol (minutes) of the conference was found in 1947 that the conference was named "Wannsee Conference" after its location.
The Holocaust History Project is proud to present a text based on a paper by Christian Mentel delivered in November 2009 at the memorial site House of the Wannsee Conference in Berlin, Germany. A longer German version is available here. An even more detailed German-language article with complete references can be downloaded here. In addition, the memorial site's multi-language webpage at www.ghwk.de offers a wealth of material, including scans of historical documents. For generous and invaluable assistance in translating the text and beyond, the author wishes to thank Gord McFee.