Anniversaries & holidays
20.01.2022

And the world did not react: the 80th anniversary of the Wannsee conference and its aftermath Program of events

Grupa żydowskich kobiet. Jedna z nich ma przyklejoną do ubrania gwiazdę Dawida.
Fot. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The year 2022 marks the 80th anniversary of the tragic events which resulted in millions of Jews being murdered. The world did not react to the atrocities that were taking place, hidden away behind a veil of silence. We encourage you to take part in meetings and debates organised to mark the 80th anniversary of the Wannsee conference, the Reinhardt Aktion, i.e. the great liquidation action of the Warsaw ghetto, and the establishment of Żegota Council to Aid Jews.

Hitler and his closest aides reached the decision to annihilate European Jews in the autumn of 1941. To coordinate actions carried out by various segments of the German state apparatus, on 20 January 1942 a conference was held in Wannsee near Berlin.  The representative of the General Governor Hans Frank demanded the “final solution to the Jewish question” ought to begin in occupied Poland. In mid-March 1942, Germans launched a systemic liquidation of Jewish communities in the General Government, deporting residents of the ghettoes to extermination camps. On 22 July 1942, the great liquidation action of the Warsaw ghetto began. The operation was codenamed “Reinhardt” to commemorate Reinhard Heydrich, head of the Reich Security Main Office, murdered by Czech partisans.

The year 2022 marks the 80th anniversary of the Operation Reinhard in the course of which Germans murdered nearly two million Polish Jews. The world did not react, hiding behind a veil of silence. On 4 December 1942, Żegota Council to Aid Jews was founded in a response to the annihilation of the Warsaw ghetto. It was a Polish-Jewish committee to aid Jews, affiliated to the Government Delegation for Poland. It was the only organisation of this kind in occupied Europe, thus becoming a laudable exception on the map of Europe at the time.

On 23 January, at 8PM, we invite you to attend the online lecture titled “Wannsee—a Conference on Genocide” delivered by German historian Peter Klein, Professor at the Touro College in Berlin. The lecture will be streamed on the POLIN Museum YouTube channel. 

The following events planned in the anniversary commemoration program will be held in July, October and December 2022. We will provide detailed information on these events closer to their dates. 

Logo of Jewish Cultural Heritage Project: from right side: logo of Norway grants, logo of Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of Republic of Poland, logo Polin Museum and JCK project. Below sentence: Working together for green, competetive and inclusive Europe.

www.eeagrants.org, www.norwaygrants.org, www.gov.pl