80th Anniversary of Wannsee Conference

Participants of the Wannsee Conference in Berlin, Germany, 1942

(dpa) – January 20, 2022 – On the 80th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference, Germany’s Central Council of Jews has called for more education in German schools about Nazi crimes.

Surveys show how little many pupils know about the Shoah, Central Council President Josef Schuster wrote in an article for Wednesday’s edition of the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, using the Hebrew term for the Holocaust. “That is why we need more Holocaust education in schools,” he continued.

At the Wannsee Conference on January 20, 1942, senior Nazi officials discussed the systematic murder of up to 11 million Jews in Europe. The aim of the meeting was to speed up the implementation of the genocide. It is considered one of the key dates in the history of the Holocaust.

“The growing temporal distance from National Socialism seems to be accompanied by an unwillingness in society to continue to deal with this part of German history,” Schuster wrote, adding that Jews are even accused of wanting to stir up feelings of guilt and of gaining advantages from commemoration.

Schuster said that this “secondary anti-Semitism” was on the rise again, adding that it was imperative for Jews to pass on knowledge of the Holocaust to the next generation and also to remember the dead.

Schuster also stressed the importance of having days of remembrance such as January 27, the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, which marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp in 1945.