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It is generally credited by historians that the infamous "Wansee Conference" of January 1942 was the real beginning of the Holocaust, i.e. of the Nazi Reich's all-out effort to exterminate the Jews of Europe. Prior to that, the Reich had contented itself with kicking them out of public life, taxing them into beggary, subjecting them to every form of humiliation, and essentially negating their status as human beings. When the war started, however, this policy, known as the 'emigration solution' (i.e., solve the "problem" of Jews living in the Reich by forcing them to emigate) became obsolete. The inefficient and corrupt Nazi bureaucracy was ill-suited even to handle the relatively small population of German Jews; and Nazi conquests, however, quickly increased the number of Jews in German-occupied territories to around eleven million. In other words, the very success of the German military effort in Europe had actually increased the size of the 'Jewish problem' a hundred times over. And since forcible emigration of 11 million people outside the German sphere of influence was not possible, something else had to be done to tackle this 'problem.' But what?
"Conspiracy" is about the bureacratic genesis of the Holocaust.Read more ›
On January 20, 1942, with Nazi armies stalled in the snow at the gates of Moscow, a lakeside mansion in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee is the venue for a conference. Fifteen government bureaucrats and high ranking officers of the SS gather. History is advised to remember these otherwise appallingly ordinary representatives of the human species: SS General Reinhard Heydrich (Reich Security Main Office), SS Lt. Colonel Adolf Eichmann (Office of Jewish Affairs), SS Lt. General Heinrich Müller (Gestapo), Gerhard Klopfer (Nazi Party Chancellery), Wilhelm Kritzinger (Reichs-Chancellery), SS Lt. General Otto Hofmann (Race and Settlement Main Office), Dr. Georg Liebbrandt and Dr. Alfred Meyer (Reichs-Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories), Dr. Wilhelm Stuckart (Reichs-Ministry of the Interior), Undersecretary Martin Luther (Foreign Ministery), SS Major Rudolf Lange (SS Taskforces in Latvia), Director Erich Neumann (Office of the Four Year Plan), Dr. Joseph Bühler and SS Colonel Karl Schöngarth (Government-General of Occupied Poland), and Dr. Roland Freisler (Reichs-Ministry of Justice).
Even after coerced emigration, 132,000 Jews remain in Germany. As the Wehrmacht gobbles up territory, millions more - potentially 11 million - will come under Nazi control. As it's put in this film, there's a burgeoning "storage problem", and the chairman of the meeting, Heydrich (Kenneth Branagh), is calling for unanimous agreement on a "final solution".Read more ›
Credit must be given to Kenneth Branagh who propels the entire piece with one of the best portrayals on screen in memory. He is utterly convincing in the role of a man who epitomises the classic definition of evil: not just the doing of wrong, but the perversion of the human spirit so that it no longer has any perception of the good.
Overall this is an excellent film that benefits from great acting, a great script and great direction.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Riveting. Acting of highest order. An incredible insight to the dehumanized view of the nazis toward the Jews. Read morePublished 22 hours ago by whoelse
This movie recreates the political horror of Hitler's "Final Solution", the genocide of Jews and other ethnic groups. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Mit1
A riveting story with chilling insight iinto the days of the Reichs demise and the consequences of the desparation of the German military's fall during WWII.Published 1 day ago by RJM
I normally like movies about this time period and subject. I found this one to be very slow and not interesting at all.Published 2 days ago by Brian K Black
Gripping, insightful and horrifyingly sad. Kenneth, as always, was fantastic.Published 2 days ago by Mary Ellen Dahlke
Best acting I've seen in a long time. Intense and all too real.Published 2 days ago by Linda DiLembo