Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Three Wannsee Conferences.(Heard from Rav Lau.)©



Seventy years later.
The Wannsee Conference 20 January 1942 

The Gemarah in Sanhedrin speaks of the first Wannsee Conference that took place in Egypt 3,400 years ago. There Pharaoh said to his three advisors "Come let us outsmart them".  This was a Wannsee Conference. In essence, the king of Egypt was saying "Let's work out a final solution". Bilam suggested that they put into operation a "Mengle selection" of killing off the baby boys. They tried to enlist the help of the Hebrew midwives Shifra and Pu'a, who would act as "kapos", cooperating to see that all went smoothly. These righteous women refused to do this dirty work. So Pharaoh enrolled his whole nation to help in the 'Final Solution' for the Hebrews. There was a general order to throw all baby boys in the Nile, but everyone knew this really meant  only the Israelite babies. Pharaoh was covered, in case the  U.N. would send the red-cross to investigate. Of-course there was no anti-Semitsm  in Egypt, - only a slight problem of too many males.

The second Wannsee Conferencehad had only two participants, Achashverosh and Haman. In the Midrash this is compared to two men who had bordering fields. Each plot had a defect. One field had a large mound in it, while in the other was a great pit. The owner of the field with the pit asked his neighbor to sell him the mound. That person responded happily "Take it for free". Both Achashverosh and Haman hated us. Achashverosh was jealous of the Jews. He was in awe of the Jewish genius. Jews filled all the important posts in his one hundred and twenty seven states. Even in the capital, did not Mordechai sit at the king's gate despite the fact he was a Jew? Achashverosh looked from the bottom up at us, envy filled his whole being. From jealousy to hate is but a hairbreadth. Haman anti-Semitism was exactly the opposite. He looked at us from the top down. He despised the Jews. The offer of money for a whole nation shows his disdain. He even tells the king "Why keep them around? Its not worth your while".  Achashverosh was no less of a Jew hater then Haman. If the Agagi was ready to do the dirty work of clearing his kingdom of Jews and making it 'Judenrein', let him do it.  To this end he took off his ring and gave it to Haman.

On 20 January 1942, the third Wannsee Conference was held in Wannsee a suburb of Berlin, in a villa. Here senior officials of the Nazi German regime arranged how to implement the logistical details of the Final Solution.This was all planned with great cunning. All six death-camps would only be in Poland for if the World would object and bombed the railway tracks to the camps, the German countryside would not suffer. Everything was done in a most precise orderly fashion. Each of the death factories, was placed near a large Jewish community: Auschwitz-Birkenau near Krakow, Belzec close to Lywo-w, Chelmno by Lodz, Majdanek in proximity to Warsaw , Sobibor near Bialystok, and Treblinka in the vicinity of Bialystok and Warsaw. An estimated 3.5 million Jews were killed in these six extermination camps.  Eichmann was at the conference. At one point Eichmann offered  to stop the exportation of one million Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz in exchange for ten thousand trucks. Haman was prepared to pay ten thousand loaves of silver if Achashverosh would allow him to implement his Final Solution. We see there is 'nothing new under the sun' - both rashaim wanted to use the measure of 'ten thousand'.

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