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The Villa, The Lake, The Meeting: Wannsee And The Final Solution download ebook

by MARK ROSEMAN

The Villa, The Lake, The Meeting: Wannsee And The Final Solution download ebook
ISBN:
071399570X
ISBN13:
978-0713995701
Author:
MARK ROSEMAN
Publisher:
Allen Lane; First Edition edition (2002)
Language:
Pages:
120 pages
ePUB:
1911 kb
Fb2:
1855 kb
Other formats:
txt docx lit rtf
Category:
World
Subcategory:
Rating:
4.4

Mark Roseman’s book, The Villa, the Lake, the Meeting, is a brilliant study of the infamous Wannsee Conference on 20th January 1942 at which the genocide of Europe’s 11 million Jews was discussed and decided.

Mark Roseman’s book, The Villa, the Lake, the Meeting, is a brilliant study of the infamous Wannsee Conference on 20th January 1942 at which the genocide of Europe’s 11 million Jews was discussed and decided.

It's his contention that the Holocaust actually came about at the regional level mainly A slim volume that examines the infamous Wannsee Conference that took place on January 20, 1942.

Mark Roseman (born c. 1958) is an English historian of modern Europe with particular interest in The Holocaust. 2002: The Villa, The Lake, The Meeting: Wannsee and the Final Solution. Harmondsworth: Penguin, ISBN 9780713995701. at Christ's College, Cambridge, . at Cambridge, and his PhD at University of Warwick Awards. 2001 Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Literary Prize, A Past in Hiding.

Mark Roseman makes a scholarly and thorough contribution to the story of how the Holocaust was planned in The . It was a grand Berlin villa on the shores of Lake Wannsee; the meeting was of 15 senior Nazis; it took place on 20 January 1942

Mark Roseman makes a scholarly and thorough contribution to the story of how the Holocaust was planned in The Villa, the Lake, the Meeting. It was a grand Berlin villa on the shores of Lake Wannsee; the meeting was of 15 senior Nazis; it took place on 20 January 1942. The purpose of the meeting was to plan the more systematic murder of the Jews. Not much was known about the meeting until 1947, when a 'protocol' was found. This protocol is something less than the minutes of the meeting (which have not been recovered). Until it was found, most of the participants denied having been there. Then they changed their story, but not by much.

At a villa on the shore of the Wannsee, a lake in suburban Berlin, on 20th January 1942 one of the most terrible meetings in human history convened. Chaired by Reinhard Heydrich and organised and minuted by Adolf Eichmann, it brought together representatives of all the principal Nazi agencies in eastern Europe.

Request PDF On Jan 1, 2002, Mark Roseman and others published The villa, the lake, the meeting . First, she discusses the historiography of the Wannsee Conference, detailing what the conference exactly was and how it has lived on in historical literature and public memory.

First, she discusses the historiography of the Wannsee Conference, detailing what the conference exactly was and how it has lived on in historical literature and public memory. She shows how the Wannsee Conference has become a symbol for the r of the Holocaust and why it still gathers public interest today. Then, she gives a brief history of the house from its beginnings in 1914 until 1966, when public discussion about the use of the house broke loose.

On 20 January 1942, the most murderous meeting in history took place. They ate good food, drank cognac and smoked cigars – and in less than two hours had effectively sentenced six million people to death

The Wannsee Conference and the Final Solution : A Reconsideration. This book is exceptional (which is also the same book as the paperback version which goes under the slightly different title of "The Villa, the Lake, the Meeting: Wannsee and the Final Solution)

The Wannsee Conference and the Final Solution : A Reconsideration. This book is exceptional (which is also the same book as the paperback version which goes under the slightly different title of "The Villa, the Lake, the Meeting: Wannsee and the Final Solution). It succinctly explains how the "removal of the Jews from Germany" became the genocidal project known as the Holocaust. Mark Roseman is Professor of History at the University of Southampton

At a villa on the shore of the Wannsee, a lake in suburban Berlin, on 20th January 1942 one of the most terrible meetings in human history convened. Mark Roseman is Professor of History at the University of Southampton. His last book, also published by Penguin, was THE PAST IN HIDING.

The Villa, The Lake, The Meeting: Wannsee And The Final Solution [Hardcover] [Jan 01, 2002] MARK ROSEMAN ...
Reviews:
  • Acebiolane
A well researched, clearly written account of a most horrific event in history.
  • Dangerous
Thanks!
  • Marirne
Came on time Just as expected
  • Samugul
The Villa, the Lake, the Meeting: Wannsee and the Final Solution
I was expecting dialogue between the monstors at the meeting. All I got was plain and simple, and simultaneously bland, veiled facts.This book was impossible to read.I would rate it top of the line as far as how boring it was.I would donate this book to charity in a heartbeat.The documenatry from HBO was so interesting, how could someone reduce this historical occurence to such nonsense is incomprehensible to me.Dont waste your time or money as I did.
  • Lanin
This review is based on: The Wannsee Conference and the Final Solution: A Reconsideration (Hardcover)

Ever since its discovery in 1947 by Robert Kempner, the American prosecutor at Nuremberg, this record of a meeting held in Berlin on 20 January 1942 has been considered to be virtual proof of the determination of the Nazis to murder each and every Jew that came within their reach. Roseman presents a much more critical view of the matter.

His book is full of remarks which modify, question, or refute past interpretations. He quotes the German historian Eberhard Jäckel who wonders why this meeting was ever convened, he notes that the documentation concerning this event is far from comprehensive and that we can only speculate on many aspects, he states that there is no single unambiguous document ordering the annihilation of all Jews (David Irving will have noted this with some satisfaction), he deplores the general lack of official documents, and he stresses the absence of important agencies or institutions which should have been present at any sort of decisive meeting of this kind: the German Railways, the Wehrmacht, or the Führer Chancellery. Somehow, though, he manages to overlook the curious fact that Heydrich's name is not on the list of the persons attending.

In spite of the general vagueness surrounding the gathering, Roseman concludes that from the time of the meeting onward, the word "Endlösung" came to signify the death of all European Jews, because the "Protokoll" expresses this, albeit in a round-about, bureaucratic fashion. It is important to stress, though, that "death", here, is not necessarily identical to "killing". The considerations regarding the fate of various groups of Jews bear this out, one half of the 15 pages are devoted, after all, to the fairly difficult question of deciding how Jews and their descendants were to be classified. When all is said and done, Roseman comes to the conclusion that the conference cannot be regarded as a moment of decision; for him, it is merely an indication that something had changed in the political landscape.

The "Protokoll" itself has, for decades now, occupied centre stage, obscuring other important aspects of the matter. We must remember that the meeting was convened by Heydrich on the grounds that Göring had asked him, half a year earlier, in July of 1941, to draw up "a comprehensive plan for the final solution of the Jewish question, in the near future". The January meeting was to lay the groundwork for the plan, others were to follow; Roseman mentions two more such dates, March and October 1942 but does not discuss them in detail. In view of the six months which Heydrich let go by before calling a first meeting, one cannot but admire Göring's patience in the matter, or Himmler's lack of concern when the Reichsmarschall intervened without respecting the line of command. In the end, after Heydrich's assassination in May of 1942, no comprehensive plan was ever presented to Göring - nor to anyone else, for that matter.

In this context, Roseman mentions, in a footnote, the so-called "Schlegelberger Document" which states that Hitler had rejected the "Final Solution" as we perceive it today. He refers the reader to David Irving's homepage for more information while remaining himself quite sceptical in this regard.

The German edition of Roseman's book contains an additional chapter in which Norbert Kampe, the director of the Wannsee Memorial Institute in Berlin, discusses the differences among the reproductions of the various documents that form the basis of our assessment of this event. Kampe strongly crticizes mistakes and unwarranted alterations that appear in every single one of the documents presented by Kempner, but states that the text of these reproductions is always in accordance with the originals. This is not, strictly speaking, a material analysis of the documents themselves. In view, however, of a number of questions concerning the authenticity of some of these papers, that have never been scientifically investigated, a thorough review of these points is still highly desirable.

The necessity for a scientific evaluation of the documents involved is made even more convincing if we look at these documents as they are shown in a book written by Kempner himself, "Eichmann und Komplizen", Europa-Verlag, 1962. The documents presented there come in a variety of ways, some simply retyped, others as part of the text, still others as "reproduced in line with the original (nach dem Original wiedergegeben)".

These reproductions, for the most part, do not contain the "unwarranted alterations" but diverge from the Wannsee documents in other strange ways, as is most clearly shown by the letter of transmittal of the minutes to the participants. Kempner's version of this letter, claimed to have been found in the files of the German Foreign Office, is verbatim identical to the Wannsee document, including underlined words. It is, however, obviously a retyped version using a typewriter that did not have a special key for a runic SS as it does appear on all the official Wannsee documents. On the other hand, a handwritten note added at the German Foreign Office, as well as a number of stamps (`secret', FO registration stamp) and Heydrich's signature, are in themselves and in their geometrical relations with respect to each other, absolutely identical to the way they appear in the Wannsee document, except that they are superimposed on the retyped text in a skewed manner.

This could mean that at some point, a transparent layover with the handwritten entry, the stamps, and Heydrich's signature but without the body of the text, was copied from the document now shown at the Wannsee Institute and then superimposed on the retyped document shown in Kempner's book to yield a single new image. The question which automatically arises is, of course, why this cumbersome procedure was necessary, who carried it out and at what point in time.

Aside from this aspect, one should mention a further difficulty which makes an appreciation of the conference cumbersome for the average layman - the problem of the language. The "Urtext" is in German, obviously, and in a particularly obscure and bureaucratic lingo at that. Normally, this ought not to make a translation impossible to accomplish, but here we have to fend with the risk that the choice of words, and hence the reader's mind, is influenced by a - possibly unconscious - partiality of the translator. A case in point is the rendering of the German word "erfassen" on p. 9 of the original (regarding the Jews in France). The official English version on the Wannsee website [...] has "rounding-up", but this shows that the translator has jumped to a conclusion which, although attractive, is unjustified because in German bureaucratic language "erfassen" quite simply - and innocently - signifies something like identifying and seizing in a list. In connexion with a document which is couched in a very much veiled language, such liberties should not be tolerated.

The "Protokoll" has, by now, become public property, as it were, and has served as a basis for two films. A German one, produced in 1984, is a well-made feature, responding nearly 100 % to the traditional requirements of unity in time, place, and action. It is being shown quite regularly both in Germany and abroad. Unfortunately, in the US and possibly elsewhere, it has been made an instrument of what Norman Finkelstein has called the marketing of the Holocaust: even though no verbatim transcript of the conference has ever been found, the film is distributed in those countries with the firm assertion that it is indeed the word-for-word rendering of the meeting. The historian, it would seem, counts for nothing in the global market economy.
  • Aradwyn
Mark Roseman’s book, The Villa, the Lake, the Meeting, is a brilliant study of the infamous Wannsee Conference on 20th January 1942 at which the genocide of Europe’s 11 million Jews was discussed and decided.

There is a temptation to view the participants at the Wannsee Conference as members of a different species from our own, the species to which in our wisdom we have given the self-serving title homo sapiens.

But they were not members of a different species. They were human beings just like us. To demonise or dehumanise these men would be to deny this most important fact.

Many of them belonged to that highly esteemed human category, the ‘family man’. They were all intelligent high ranking relatively young functionaries of a modern European state, albeit a state run by Nazi people. Of the fifteen conference attendees, eight of them had doctorates and six had degrees in law.

The meeting was convened and chaired by the 38 year old Reinhard Heydrich, accomplished violinist, award winning fencer and trained pilot. Heydrich grew up in a musical, cultured, devoutly Catholic home. A possible clue pointing to a career culminating in his being chief organiser under Himmler in the Nazi security state of SS and Gestapo terror and murder from the mid thirties in Germany and beyond were the lashings he received as a child from his disciplinarian mother. The paradoxes embodied by Heydrich are reflected in his nickname, “The Blond Beast”.

Heydrich’s immediate subordinate Adolf Eichmann, another family man who also attended, was mainly responsible along with Heydrich for the only surviving record of the conference, the Wansee Protocol (p 68). It was Eichmann’s apparent ordinariness as a human being that later suggested Hannah Arendt’s memorable phrase, “the banality of evil”.

The kinds of paradox represented by the conference attendees extend to the conference itself, as described by the author on page three:

“Even if we knew why the meeting was called, would that render it any more intelligible? Would we then be able to account for its mixture of procedure and prejudice, sober planning and ideologically motivated murder? Can we ever make sense of the devilish parody of administrative precision, delineating between the quarter-Jew (to be vetted), the half-Jew (to be sterilised if ‘lucky’), or the full Jew (to be ‘evacuated’) In other words, how was it possible, on a snowy January day in Berlin, to deliberate so calmly and carefully about genocide?”

Elsewhere (p 87) the author notes another paradox: “Heydrich’s aim of establishing shared knowledge of murder explains one of the real oddities of the Wannsee Protocol, namely its peculiar juxtaposition of euphemism and undisguised murderousness.”

Heydrich’s desire to establish shared complicity is not surprising in view of the care his superordinates took to try to conceal their responsibility for the Holocaust: “Even more than in peacetime, Hitler carefully concealed his involvement in the Jewish question...The occasional entries in Himmler’s appointments diary regarding Hitler and the Jewish question are abbreviated and cryptic.” (p 35) Ian Kershaw has observed that “the ‘Final Solution’...remained a taboo subject in [Hitler’s] presence, even among his immediate entourage.” (Hitler, the Germans and the Final Solution, p 265)

However, there is no doubt that Hitler was the prime mover for the Holocaust. The author notes (p 9) that as early as 1919 Hitler wrote that “The final aim must be the uncompromising removal of the Jews altogether” though it is not clear at this stage whether by this Hitler meant genocide or mass deportation from Germany.

By the mid thirties the Nazification of the German state (Gleichschaltung) was so complete that Hitler’s wish was everyone’s command: “...the system became so attuned to his signals that a raised finger was enough... Hitler exerted ‘downward causation'. He stifled moves he did not want or whose time he felt to be inopportune, while encouraging others.” (pp 12-13)

The Nazis’ use of euphemism in referring to the Holocaust points to a deeper paradox: a suppressed awareness of their evil doing which belied their professed racial superiority.

Adolf Eichmann’s default excuse for his part in the Holocaust – that he was only following orders – during his trial which began in Jerusalem in May 1961 prompted Stanley Milgram to begin his famous obedience experiment in Yale University three months later. Milgram’s experiment showed that a majority of human beings were willing to administer lethal electric shocks to innocent strangers when instructed to do so by an authority figure.

It is therefore reasonable to assume that most human beings, regardless of race, colour, creed or class, would behave as the Nazis and most Germans behaved were the political conditions of Nazi Germany replicated. That view is shared by Ian Kershaw (ibid, page 148) and Auschwitz survivor Primo Levi.

Primo Levi’s book The Drowned and the Saved provides an invaluable complementary perspective on the Holocaust to Roseman’s book on the Wanssee Conference. Roseman’s book deals with the ‘desk murderers’, Levi’s with their victims. In the chapter titled ‘The Grey Zone’ Levi elucidates the degrees of guilt and complicity from the ground up of the victims of the Holocaust and their persecutors.

In particular Levi discusses how those inmates who collaborated with the SS in various ways in the death camps should be judged. The two most extreme kinds of collaborators were the Kapos and the Sonderkommandos. The Kapos were those selected by the SS to oversee their fellow inmates. They had a free hand to use whatever means possible, including lethal violence, to maintain control and to reduce inmates to the subhuman level required by their SS masters.

The lowest of the low were the Sonderkommandos, members of the ‘Special Squads’ who were required to do the most vile, filthy and demeaning work in the death camps, which is described by Levi as follows:

“It was their task to maintain order among the new arrivals (often completely unaware of the desitiny awaiting them) who were to be sent to the gas chambers, to extract the corpses from the chambers, to pull gold teeth from jaws, to cut women’s hair, to sort and classify clothes, shoes and the contents of the luggage, to transport the bodies to the crematoria and to oversee the operation of the ovens, to extract and eliminate the ashes.” (page 50)

Levi writes that the creation of the Special Squads was the Nazis’ “most demonic crime” (p 53) in that it was an attempt to implicate the Jews in their own destruction and thus destroy their souls as well as their bodies. However, Levi debunks this subterfuge and cogently explains that no one is qualified to pass judgment on even the Sonderkommandos, “the miserable manual labourers of the slaughter...those who from one shift to the next preferred a few more weeks of life (what a life) to immediate death...”(p 59)

It is Levi’s direct experience of being a death camp inmate that gives him the moral authority and perspective by which to determine the guilt and degrees of guilt of those responsible for the Holocaust and their collaborators. This is evident in the following passage that puts the Befehlnotstand (“I was only following orders”) excuse of Eichmann and his ilk into perspective:

“I would invite anyone who dares pass judgment to carry out upon himself, with sincerity, a conceptual experiment: Let him imagine, if he can, that he has lived for months or years in a ghetto, tormented by chronic hunger, fatigue, promiscuity, and humiliation; that he has seen die around him, one by one, his beloved; that he is cut off from the world, unable to receive or transmit news; that, finally, he is loaded onto a train, eighty or a hundred persons to a boxcar; that he travels into the unknown, blindly, for sleepless days and nights; and that he is at last flung inside the walls of an indecipherable inferno. This, it seems to me, is the true Befehlnotstand, the “state of compulsion following an order”: not the one systematically and impudently invoked by the Nazis dragged to judgment and, later on (but in their footsteps), by the war criminals of many other countries. The former is a rigid either/or, immediate obedience or death; the latter is an internal fact at the centre of power and could have been resolved (actually often was resolved) by some manoeuvre, some slowdown in career, moderate punishment, or, in the worst of cases, the objector’s transfer to the front.” (pp 59-60)

Primo Levi’s observations are more than vindicated by the Milgram experiment. None of the conditions of the Nazi state – the totalitarian political system, the chronic and endemic racism, the blanket propaganda, the social pressure to conform, the substantial rewards and punishments – none of these can be used to explain why the majority of Milgram’s subjects were willing to murder innocent strangers simply because they were told to do so by an authority figure. They therefore seem more worthy of condemnation than even the Wannsee desk murderers.

As it was deemed necessary to subject Germany to a denazification programme (which was ultimately aborted) after the Second World War, it should also be necessary to teach anti-authoritarianism in our schools. But this will never happen: if, as Milgram showed, the majority of people are authoritarian, probably an even greater majority of people in positions of authority are authoritarian – if for no other reason than power corrupts.

The majority of humans are Wannsee people. They kowtow to authority and in turn demand unquestioning subservience from their subordinates if they have any. They are authoritarian in their blind adherence to the social Darwinist ‘might is right’ principle. They do not think and conscience is always outweighed by selfish expedience.

The non-authoritarian minority are continually oppressed by the authoritarian majority. Only this thinking minority are worthy of the name homo sapiens.

The authoritarian human was well described by Shakespeare in the following lines quoted by Primo Levi (p 69):

...proud man,
Dress'd in a little brief authority,
Most ignorant of what he's most assur'd—
His glassy essence—like an angry ape
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
As makes the angels weep; who, with our spleens,
Would all themselves laugh mortal.

(Measure For Measure Act 2, scene 2, 114–123)