Hello all! It's Aaron Fargo and Mo Speer. Today we visited the Wannsee House outside of Berlin. This is where the Nazis met in order to discuss their "Final Solution" to the Jewish Question during World War II. In weeks prior to the trip, we were assigned to watch the movie "Conspiracy" which depicts the Wannsee Conference. It was also filmed at the house and our guide today, Wolf, was present during the filming and provided factual guidance for the film.
First, Wolf told us a little about the history of the house and who owned it prior to the Nazis. He then took us on a tour of the house through its many exhibits. They covered an extensive history of the unstable relationship between Germans and Jews. We took a look at not only the horrific events of the Holocaust, but also the rise of Nazism and the consequences of World War II. Next, he took us to the conference room where the meeting actually took place. What we found the most interesting was how there was really no objection to the Final Solution during the conference. In Conspiracy, there is some discourse and hesitation, but Wolf said the hour and a half meeting had almost no concerns brought up. However, the post Holocaust consequences was something no one in our group had ever learned about before.
After lunch, Wolf took us back to the classroom and started to describe the events right after the Holocaust up until today. We discussed how during the Nuremberg Trials there were not as many Nazi criminals convicted as we imagined. Often times, while the prosecutors knew who the officers were, the common response of the defense was that they had no choice or were just following orders. Many survivors did not experience the proper closure they had hoped for because the crimes were mostly blamed on the highest officials. The majority of these officials were either dead or in hiding when the trials occurred.
In short, the Wannsee Conference, which included 15 Nazi officials, resulted in over 6 million deaths during the Holocaust. This hour and a half meeting is a big part of the world's history and changed the events of World War II.
Tomorrow, we are taking a tour of the Jewish Quarter of Berlin and visiting the Topography of Terror Museum.