Final Solution to the Jewish Question

The “Final Solution to the Jewish Question,” often shortened to the “Final Solution,” refers to the Nazi plan to annihilate the Jews of Europe through mass murder.

Beginning with the Jewish emancipation movement in the 19th century, the so-called “Jewish Question” was the subject of heated debate in some German and European circles, where the status of Jews in society was considered to be a problem that needed to be addressed through assimilation or other means.

The “Jewish Question” was a central focus of the NSDAP platform from the party’s founding, and as soon as the NSDAP took power in 1933, a series of anti-Jewish measures began to curtail Jewish rights and participation in German society with the intention of coercing Jews to emigrate. After the beginning of World War II, coercion was replaced with progressively more aggressive measures.

In 1941, Nazi leaders began to formulate their strategy for a “Final Solution to the Jewish Question,” a detailed plan for the murder of all Jews living in Europe–an estimated eleven million people–was outlined by Nazi officials at the Wannsee Conference on January 20, 1945.