The Wannsee Conference

Seventy years ago this month, German officials convened for a meeting that is widely regarded as the point that the policy of genocide was arrived at. But, asks Roger Moorhouse, is the Wannsee Conference really the 'smoking gun' of Nazi Holocaust planning?

It was in this villa in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee that one of history’s most infamous conferences was staged. (Getty) 

This article was first published in the January 2012 issue of BBC History Magazine 

On 20 January 1942, 15 Nazi officials met in an elegant villa in Wannsee, to the west of Berlin, to discuss genocide. It was not a disagreeable meeting, lasting only around 90 minutes or so followed by a buffet lunch, but it has gone down in history as one of the lowest points to which humanity has stooped.

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