Historian of Nazi Era, JTA Correspondent, Urges Center at Berlin’s Wannsee Villa

A leading Jewish archivist and historian of the Nazi era announced here today that the West Berlin municipal government has been advised that, unless it makes the notorious Wannsee Villa in Berlin available as a documentation center on the Nazi campaign to exterminate the Jews, the center will move to Switzerland. Thus, said Joseph Wulf, head of the center, Germany will be deprived of a vital institution for research and information that would attract scholars and historians from all over the world.

Mr. Wulf said that December 31 has been set as the deadline for an affirmative response by the Berlin government. The Wannsee Villa, now a children’s center, is the building where Rudolph Heydrich and other Nazi leaders met on Jan. 20, 1942, to plan the “final solution,” the destruction of Jewry.

According to Mr. Wulf and to Dr. Joachim Prinz, chairman of the international affairs commission of the American Jewish Congress, under whose auspices Mr. Wulf met with the press today, the Wannsee Villa is the most appropriate, and in fact the only effective site in Germany for a documentation center on the Nazis.

Mr. Wulf said that the center is not seeking funds and is in a position to erect a new children’s center on the 90,000 square foot site of the villa. But, he said, there is political opposition in the Berlin administration to turning over the building. Mr. Wulf is the Berlin correspondent for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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