The Wannsee Conference Now & Then

January 27, 2021 - 1:30pm

2021 International Holocaust Remembrance Day Lecture

The meeting of 15 high-ranking Nazi officials on Jan 20, 1942, at lake Wannsee is one of the most important events in the history of the persecution and murder of European Jewry. Under the leadership of Reinhard Heydrich, the men discussed the implementation of the deportation and ultimately the murder of 11 million Jews. In the spring of 1942, the deportations to the death camps in occupied Eastern Europe began.
79 years later, Germany and Europe are facing a new wave of right-wing extremism and antisemitism. Synagogues are attacked and Jews are injured and murdered. The Covid-19-pandemic fuels conspiracy narratives which are often rooted in antisemitism. Has history taught us so little?
The lecture will give an overview of the meeting at lake Wannsee on Jan 20, 1942 in its larger historical context and discuss its relevance in the wake of rising antisemitism in Germany and Europe today.

with Dr. Matthias Haß, Director of Education, House of the Wannsee-Conference Memorial Site and Conference Center, Berlin, Germany

Presented by the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies (University of Minnesota) and The Ray Wolpow Institute for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity (Western Washington University). Co-sponsored by the Department of German, Nordic, Slavic & Dutch Studies & the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Minnesota.