The Wannsee Conference

  • 1984
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Historical, War

This is a startling re-creation of one of the most infamous events in history--the gathering of 14 Nazi officials on January 20, 1942, in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee to discuss the "final solution"--the extermination of some 11 million Jews. Like the meeting, the film lasts 85 minutes and takes place almost entirely in the conference room. Organized by...read more

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This is a startling re-creation of one of the most infamous events in history--the gathering of 14 Nazi officials on January 20, 1942, in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee to discuss the "final solution"--the extermination of some 11 million Jews. Like the meeting, the film lasts 85 minutes and

takes place almost entirely in the conference room. Organized by Reinhard Heydrich, chief of the Nazi security police and secret service, the conference was held at the request of Adolf Hitler and Hermann Goering in order to secure and coordinate the cooperation of key figures in the Nazi

hierarchy to carry out the operation. Already devoted to the Nazi ideology, the conferees did not discuss the project's morality, only the most efficient means of achieving their goal. The picture follows their casual, at times petty, discussion of genocide. Made for German and Austrian TV, THE

WANNSEE CONFERENCE is not an exact re-creation, since no Wannsee transcript exists (only minutes and other archival material, including conferee Adolf Eichmann's recollections of the meeting). Screenwriter Paul Mommertz and director Heinz Schirk reconstructed dialog and characters through research

then, without providing additional historical background, replayed the meeting in real time to eerie effect. The entire scene takes on an absurd quality, a "banality of evil," as if the participants were discussing marketing strategy for a new product line. The camera wanders the room

dispassionately, while the convincing performances nearly fool the audience into thinking the actual event is unfolding before their eyes. Some have alleged that the film reshapes certain historical events; nevertheless, the result is undeniably chilling. (In German; English subtitles.)

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  • Released: 1984
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: This is a startling re-creation of one of the most infamous events in history--the gathering of 14 Nazi officials on January 20, 1942, in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee to discuss the "final solution"--the extermination of some 11 million Jews. Like the meet… (more)

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