Berlin is the capital and the largest city of Germany. With a population of approximately 3.7 million, Berlin is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union.
Located in northeastern Germany on the banks of the rivers Spree and Havel, it is the centre of the Berlin-Brandenburg Metropolitan Region, which has roughly 6 million residents from more than 180 nations.
a Day in History : January 20 1942
The Wannsee Conference (German: Wannseekonferenz) was a meeting of senior government officials of Nazi Germany and SS leaders, held 75 years ago in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee.
Discrimination against Jews was codified in Germany immediately after the Nazi seizure of power on January 30th 1933.
The Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service, passed on April 7th of that year, excluded most Jews from the legal profession and the civil service. Similar legislation soon deprived Jewish members of other professions of the right to practice. Violence and economic pressure were used by the regime to force Jews to leave the country. Jewish businesses were denied access to markets, forbidden to advertise in newspapers, and deprived of access to government contracts. Citizens were harassed and subjected to violent attacks and boycotts of their businesses.
Violence and economic pressure were used by the Nazi regime to encourage Jews to voluntarily leave the country. The ideology of Nazism brought together elements of antisemitism, racial hygiene, and eugenics, and combined them with pan-Germanism and territorial expansionism with the goal of obtaining more Lebensraum (living space) for the Germanic people.
The purpose of the conference, called by 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 final solution to the Jewish question, whereby most of the Jews of German-occupied Europe would be deported to Poland and murdered.
One copy of the Protocol with circulated minutes of the meeting survived the war. It was found by the Allies in March 1947 among files that had been seized from the German Foreign Office. It was used as evidence in the Subsequent Nuremberg Trials. The Wannsee House, site of the conference, is now a Holocaust memorial.
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