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Conference in Wannsee — 20.01.1942

By Jewish Historical Institute

In 1914 a pharmaceutical factory-owner, Ernest Marlier, decided to invest his earned money into an elegant villa with a garden on the outskirts of Berlin. The estate in Am Großen Wannsee street (later Große Seestraße) was designed by Paul O. A. Baumgarten. Marlier did not enjoy his white villa for long — in 1921, he sold it to a company called Norddeutsche Grundstücks Aktiengesellschaft.

Sixteen years later, the house passed into the hands of a member the company board, merchant and supporter of far-right politics Friedrich Minoux. However, the villa did not bring him happiness — in 1940 he was arrested in charge with embezzling assets of a Berlin gasworks and he was put in prison. The house was sold to Nordhav foundation, founded by Chief of the Security Police (Sicherheitspolizei), SS-Gruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich. It served as holiday home for members of the SS. In this way, the villa in Am Großen Wannsee 56/58 became a guest house for high-ranking officers of the SD, the Gestapo and the Kripo.

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