The Wannsee Conference in historical context and its relevance for today

The Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre in partnership with the Memorial and Educational Site House of the Wannsee Conference invite you to a presentation by Dr Matthias Hass

photo: GHWK Berlin, Michael Haupt
© GHWK Berlin, Michael Haupt
photo: GHWK Berlin, Michael Haupt

The meeting of 15 high-ranking Nazi officials on 20 January 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 in its larger historical context and discuss its relevance in the wake of rising antisemitism in Germany and Europe today.

Dr. Matthias Haß is the acting head of the education department and the deputy director of the Memorial and Educational Site House of the Wannsee Conference. He has worked as consultant, lecturer and educator in the fields of politics of memory, European integration, and international exchange programs.

March 25, 2021, 6 p.m. in Johannesburg (SAST), 7 p.m. in Berlin-Wannsee (CET)