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Sunday, 22 January 2012


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"The Villa, the Lake, the Meeting: Wannsee and the Final Solution" by Mark Roseman covers it all very well in one slim volume. And would make the DVD a bit easier to follow (it did for me, anyway).

Thanks for that tip, 'H'. I think the bit that fascinated and sickened me in the film version was the intricate legal discussion on exactly what constituted a Jew with mixed parentage. "The banality of evil" is a much over-used, and often inacurately used, expression but all through that film it kep coming into my mind.

Also what strikes me vividly is the elegant house in which it took place. I don't know how accurate the film was in depicting the light lunch and canapes on offer from the dutiful staff but I suspect it was not far off. It was all so urbane and civilised and elegant, well, except for one or two of the rougher soldiery, and if viewed through a window you might have thought they were discussing, say, ways and means of improving the harvest with the assistance of the military, or something like that. Instead . . .

Thanks, Jimmy, that's very comprehensive. I particularly relished Eichman's quote with my added emphasis:

"Look, just look at Stuckart, the perpetual law-abiding bureaucrat, always punctilious and fussy, and now what a different tone! The language was anything but in conformity with the legal protocol of clause and paragraph. I should add that this is the only thing from the conference that still has stayed clearly in my mind."

When the Presiding Judge asked Eichmann what Stuckart had said "in general" "on this topic," Eichmann answered, "The discussion covered killing, elimination, and annihilation."

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