On January 20, 1942, 15 high-ranking Nazi party and German government leaders gathered for a meeting in Berlin in a villa close to a lake known as Wannsee. SS General Reinhard Heydrich, the chief of Security Police and the SD, called the meeting to discuss the “final solution to the Jewish question in Europe” with key non-SS government leaders, including the secretaries of the Foreign Ministry and Justice Ministry, whose cooperation was needed. The “Final Solution” was the Nazis’ code name for the deliberate, planned murder of all European Jews. The Nazis used the vague term “Final Solution” in order to camouflage both the planning and the implementation of the mass murder from the rest of the world. In fact, the killing, and used the terms “liquidation” and “extermination.” The Wannsee Conference, as it became known, did not mark the beginning of the “Final Solution.” SS mobile killing units had been concentrating and shooting large numbers of Jews in the occupied Soviet Union since June 23, 1941. Never before had a modern state committed itself to the murder of an entire people.