Article: “I am a historian as well.” - The West German Reception of Die Wannseekonferenz (1984) and Portraying Holocaust Perpetrators in Public Television Drama
Die Wannseekonferenz (1984) portrays the Wannsee Conference of 20 January 1942, where Reinhard Heydrich chaired a meeting of Germany’s ministers to co-ordinate the “Final Solution.” Produced by the public television network Bayerische Rundfunk (BR), Die Wannseekonferenz is neither mere entertainment nor a dry, unsubtle didactic film. Instead, it portrays history in a compelling and disturbing manner. The West German press, however, panned the film, which gained critical acclaim abroad. This article discusses its negative reception within the context of the 1980s television and memory landscapes through a grounding in archival sources.