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The "Final Solution" is a chilling euphemism for the decision to "solve" the "Jewish problem" in areas controlled by the Reich by mass extermination of the Jewish people. Adolf Hitler issued the order to pursue this policy at a time unknown to historians. But we do know that the Nazi leadership met at the beginning of 1942 at Wannsee, near Berlin, to plan exactly how this horrific policy would be carried out. The policy was announced, using the phrase "Final Solution," by Rudolph Heydrich, a senior SS member. The plan was to move millions of Jews to labor and extermination camps in the east, where they were to be destroyed. Germany, at Hitler's command, had placed the highest priority on this program, even reserving the use of the railroads to move people to the east at great cost to the war effort. By this point, German military units, including special extermination squads, were already murdering thousands of Jews as well as other innocent people on the Eastern Front. But the development of the Final Solution was the beginning of the organized, state-sponsored, almost industrial program of genocide aimed at destroying the Jewish people in Europe.
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