Guest house of the SS (1941-1945)
From prison, Minoux sold the villa and grounds to the Nordhav Foundation for 1.95 million Reichsmarks. The foundation had been set up in 1939 by SS-Gruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich, the Head of the Reich Security Main Office and Chief of the Security Police, with the aim of creating and maintaining holiday homes for members of the SS security services and their relatives. The purchase price was not paid to Minoux but was retained by the banks and the city of Berlin to settle claims for compensation.
On 15 November 1940, Heydrich wrote to Albert Speer, the General Building Inspector for the Reich Capital, that the purchase of the real estate at Am Grossen Wannsee 56/58 was urgent because Propaganda Minister Goebbels was also showing interest in the property. In Heydrich’s letter he claims, among other things, that: "in the future, the premises –the upper rooms, which have excellent radio reception, being used temporarily in wartime (without structural modifications) as a passive radio observation service – should serve as a guest house (not being run as a holiday home or a hotel) for the Chief of the Security Police and the security service, as it also seems likely to meet the necessary requirements for bathing and boating. Above all, the property should be available the work of the IKPK [International Criminal Police Commission] ...".
The guest house for the security police and the security service was opened in the former Villa Minoux in October 1941. Senior SS officers, “task force” leaders or the heads of friendly countries’ secret services spent nights here. In early February 1943, the Nordhav Foundation sold the land to the German Reich (police administration) for 1.95 million Reichsmarks for "continued use as a social base and home for the leadership of the security police" (section 4 of the deeds).
Constitution of the "Nordhav Foundation" (in German)
"What does the guest house offer?"
(Source: Befehlsblatt des Chefs der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD, SS newspaper), no. 45 from 15.11.1941 (in German)
"Use of the guest house on Lake Wannsee"
Mitteilungsblatt des Amtes IV des Reichssicherheitshauptamtes, (Gestapo bulletin), 1942, no. 24 vol. 7. August 1942 (in German)
The head of the internal security service, SS-Gruppenführer Otto Ohlendorf, moved his headquarters into the villa in October 1944. Here, his staff discussed ethnic politics with representatives of other agencies or dealt with the German resistance’s plans for administrative reform. In December 1944, Ohlendorf led a conference on "Sociological Questions and Answers", in which professors and staff from various ministries and Nazi authorities took part. These experts discussed scientific and political controversies and considered plans for the years after the war.
Towards the end of the war, the Gestapo chief, Heinrich Müller, was temporarily living in the guest house, from which he negotiated with, for example, representatives of the Geneva headquarters of the Red Cross on the handover of the Ravensbrueck and Sachsenhausen camps.