Originally Posted by Nemowork
It might have shaved a few percentage points of the death toll but the point of the Wannsee conference was for middle managers to get together and work out technical standards such as whether they wanted to continue using gas vans or whether Carbon monoxide or Zyklon B was the best method.
The death sentences had already been signed at a higher political level so without Heydrich, eichmann and the others the killing might have been a little less efficient but it was going to happen.
A recent misconception. No methods of execution/extermination were directly mentioned at the Wannsee conference, nor was the subject of extermination itself, which is why the minutes taken by Eichmann are a masterly example of euphemism.
While methods of eliminating jews may have been chattered about over coffee and brandy, nothing appears to have been discussed formerly and the closest is the expectation that large numbers of jews would be eliminated through natural selection via hard work and that a remainder would need to be "dealt with accordingly".
Obviously a nod is as good as a wink to any lawyer (and all but two of the attendees were lawyers, which you may wish to bear in mind the next time you have a contract drawn up) and undoubtedly everyone knew what the ultimate goal was.
Most of the hour and a half conference was taken up with the definition of a Jew and how mixed marriages could be dissolved and the problems of the rights of German spouses of Jews, half-Jews and quarter Jews--lawyers stuff!
Far from being middle managers, the participants were all senior beauracrats and the point of the conference was not to "plan the holocaust", but for Heydrich to stamp his authority on the "Jewish Question".
"Final Solution" Endlösung
was not a special phrase invented for the Holocaust, it was and still is a standard phrase in Germany for finalising a matter.