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Berlin was a center of Jewish life in Germany and—as the capital of the Reich—also the center for the planning of the "Final Solution," the decision to kill the Jews of Europe. The Wannsee Conference, named for the resort district in southwestern Berlin where it was held, took place in January 1942. High-ranking officials from the Nazi party, the SS, and the German state met to coordinate and finalize what they referred to as the "final solution to the Jewish problem." At the conference, these officials were informed that the SS would be responsible for carrying out the killing program and that the Jews of Europe would be deported to occupied Poland and killed.
At the Wannsee Conference in Berlin in January 1942, the SS (the elite guard of the Nazi state) and representatives of German government ministries estimated that the "Final Solution," the Nazi plan to kill the Jews of Europe, would involve 11 million European Jews, including those from non-occupied countries such as Ireland, Sweden, Turkey, and Great Britain. Jews from Germany and German-occupied Europe were deported by rail to the killing centers in occupied Poland, where they were killed. The Germans attempted to disguise their intentions, referring to deportations as "resettlement to the east." The victims were told they were to be taken to labor camps, but in reality, from 1942 onward, deportation for most Jews meant transit to killing centers and then death.
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