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Germany marks anniversary of Wannsee Conference

(JTA) — The German government marked the 70th anniversary of the conference at which leading Nazis plotted the genocide of European Jews.

At the villa at Berlin’s Wannsee lake where senior Nazi officials coordinated the Holocaust in 1942, German President Christian Wulff said Friday that it was becoming increasingly hard to comprehend how genocide became the country’s official policy, The Associated Press reported. 

"We cannot be allowed to forget that this — the unbelievable and the unimaginable — actually happened," Wulff said. 

Historians believe the Wannsee Conference was the occasion at which Hitler’s decision to exterminate the Jews of Europe was communicated to senior Nazi officials. 

In an Op-Ed published Friday in the Bild newspaper, Dieter Graumann, president of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, warned that the anti-Semitism at the heart of the Nazi program had yet to be eliminated.

"Anti-Semitism and xenophobia still poison too many people today," Graumann wrote. "A day like this shows us where the intoxication of racism can lead, with all the consequences."

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