by Lawrence Kadish
When a group of high-ranking Nazi bureaucrats sat down 70 years ago today (Jan. 20, 1942), they didn't plot the death of 6 million Jews; they aimed at 11 million.
Dubbed the Wannsee Conference, after its location, it was chaired by SS Obergruppenfuhrer Reinhard Heydrich, who brought together some of the most efficient managers of mass murder history has ever seen.
The 90-minute agenda was direct, having been transmitted by Hitler to his deputy, Reich Marshal Herman Goering, and then onto Heydrich: "Make all necessary preparations" for a "total solution of the Jewish question" in all territories under German influence, coordinate the role of all government organizations in accomplishing that goal — and then submit a "comprehensive draft" for the "final solution of the Jewish question."
In other words, for the first time, the administrative, industrial and transportation resources of an entire nation would be deployed for the purpose of genocide.