Inasmuch as the media was preoccupied with the inauguration of President Donald Trump on Jan. 20, I was glad to see and proud to see that the Belleville News-Democrat, on page 12C under the “Today in History” column, made mention of an event of 75 years ago that should be prominently remembered.
On Jan. 20, 1942, the Wansee Conference was held in the Wansee suburb of Berlin, Germany, in a building adjacent to Lake Wansee. The conference was called by Reinhard Heydrich, who was then head of the Nazi secret police and security services. He was considered by Adolf Hitler to be a model Nazi. The conference was to plan and institute the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question.”
The recording secretary of the conference was Adolf Eichmann, who was an expert on Jewish affairs. After the conference, Eichmann was put in charge of affecting the final solution and ran the logistics of the Holocaust. In this role, he was a good administrator, a good organizer, and was good with numerical figures. He once said that he would leap into his grave laughing, knowing that he had the deaths of millions of people on his hands.
The building where the Wansee Conference was held has recently been restored and is open to public visitation. I visited it in 2015 and recommend anyone traveling to Berlin to visit it. Meanwhile, a pivotal point in the Holocaust should be remembered. Lest we forget.
Frank B. Austin, O’Fallon