Before Jan. 20, 1942, the name Wannsee meant luxury in Germany.
It was the name of a lake with a bordering beach in a Berlin suburb, where the country’s upscale citizens vacationed.
Since that date, the name means tragedy.
An infamous conference of 15 top Nazi officials, who came together that day to make “necessary preparations in regard to organizational, practical and material measures requisite for the total solution of the Jewish question in Europe,” took place at 56-58 Am Grossen Wannsee, across from the beach.
Over drinks, the murderers set the Final Solution, the annihilation of European Jewry, in to motion.
Today the conference center serves as a museum and memorial site, where tourists see how the Holocaust developed. A visitor, above, looks at a pro-Hitler election poster mounted in the building.
To mark this year’s 70th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference, the Brussels-based European Coalition for Israel, an initiative established by Christian supporters of the Jewish state, is launching a three-year campaign to raise awareness about the Shoah, and to combat anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.
Today, Wannsee means memory.