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The Development of the “Final Solution”



In the video, "The Development of the 'Final Solution'", Dr. David Silberklang provides an overview of what came to be known as the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question", which ended in the murder of some six million Jews. Dr. Silberklang identifies several major steps, sometimes occuring concurrently, including the prewar separation and escalating anti-Jewish measures, exploring a territorial solution, increasing murder during the German territorial expansion, murder in other countries and of other groups, early attempts at mass-murder systems, the "Wansee Conference", and the fully mechanized mass-murder of the final years of the War.

Dr. David Silberklang is Senior Historian and Editor of Yad Vashem Studies at theInternational Institute for Holocaust Research, Yad Vashem.

  • Part 1: Introduction 00:00
  • Part 2: Persecution and Murder Beyond Germany’s Borders 3:32
  • Part 3: Systematic Murder Begins and Spreads 5:04
  • Part 4: The “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” 9:58
  • More

    Archival footage and photographs:
    - Yad Vashem Archive
    - Yad Vashem Photo Archive.
    - Yad Vashem Film Archive.
    - Yad Vashem Museum Collection.
    - The Yad Vashem Visual Center
    - Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
    - Agentur Karl Höffkes
    - Bundesfilmarchiv/Transit Film GmbH.
    - Footage of Rudolf Bohlmann used with the kind permission of Eginhard Teichmann.
    - Staatsarchivs Stuttgart.
    - The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Music (Beeld en Geluid).

    Every effort has been made to locate the copyright holders to obtain the appropriate permissions and apply the correct attributions. If you have any information that would help us in relation to copyright, please contact us at

    Film produced by Mikooka Productions -

Further Pedagogical Considerations

  • We see the unfolding of events that ended up as the Holocaust. Understand the parallel processes taking place.
  • The information provided here should be factored in as a necessary context for understanding the “Final Solution”. In proceeding to address this issue in the classroom - and keeping in mind that all material must be age-appropriate - remember to leave significant room for addressing the voice of those persecuted and murdered. The central educational value for the student will be in exploring how these people lived and acted. We should recall that in many cases, the Jews did not know about, or received only partial or hearsay information of, the scale and degree of the murder.
  • Consider the problem at the root of the functionalist/intentionalist divide; this can also serve as a useful question in exploring historical processes in general.

Teaching aids