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1939 September 21, REINHARD HEYDRICH (Germany)

Invited 15 people (including Eichmann) to a conference to determine policy regarding the Jews and the Einsatzgruppen (special action groups). Their resolution (although it didn't go into details) made use of the words "First steps in the Final Solution". Heydrich ordered the segregation of all Jews into ghettos and the formation of local Jewish councils (Judenrats). The Judenrat was in Heydrich's words" made fully responsible for the exact and punctual implementation of all instructions released or yet to be released." These councils or Judenrats were designed to force the Jews to be part of the system of their own destruction by letting them think that they could save some Jews by agreeing to forget about some of the rest. Some people considered the Judenrat as collaborators and others viewed them as continuing pre-war communal work. There were 128 Judenrats in Nazi occupied Poland (or what was known as the General Government). Some heads of the Judenrats cooperated with the Nazis hoping to save the remainder. Others (about 40 of them) preferred to commit suicide rather than turn over Jews for deportation.




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