The most important historical event that took place in the mansion in Wannsee (Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz) was the “Wannsee Conference” on 20 January 1942.
During the meeting, 15 executives of the SS and Nazi Party sat down to discuss the “Final Solution”, a plan to slaughter all the Jews under Nazi Germany during World War II.
The plan included a revision of the methods used up to 1942 and how all Jews were to be deported to Poland and placed in the gas chambers of the various death camps built in the country.
The minutes written up during the conference were found in 1947. They include the details of the plan to carry out the extermination of the Jewish people thanks to the help of the German State Administration.
The collection is displayed throughout all the rooms of the house, and it relates the National Socialist persecution of the Jews and other minorities, the deprivation of their rights, the creation of the ghettos and concentration camps and finally, their extermination during World War II.
An educational visit
The exhibit’s photographs and documents will give visitors an in depth understanding of the meetings that took place in Wannsee and the hair-raising consequences.
The presentation about the deplorable conditions the Jews and other prisoners faced in the extermination camps is very poignant. There are also testimonies by the camp survivors that never fully recovered after such a traumatic experience.
If you have enough time, the House of the Wannsee Conference is a curious museum and worth exploring. Moreover, since it is so close to Potsdam, you can visit both sights on the same day.