Wannsee: Place and Deed

Wannsee: The Place and the Deed 1

Werner Zellien

Over drinks in an elegant villa on Lake Wannsee, near Berlin, Nazi leaders made plans to kill the Jews of Europe. These pictures show the villa in 1988, before it was remodeled to become a memorial and an educational site.

I was having tea with a group of writers and scholars on the veranda of a formidable white-stucco, red-tile-roof house looking out at Lake Wannsee on the western edge of Berlin. The lake was wrapped by stretches of beach and a marina, but mostly by woods, impressive late-Victorian houses, and sleek new ones of glass, metal, and wood.

The water was choppy, blue-gray under clouds and drizzle as a few sailboats drifted by. Because I had a gap in my afternoon