January 20th marks the 80th anniversary of the Nazi conference at a villa in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee, where senior Nazi officials gathered in 1942 to formulate a plan for the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question.”

The building, known as the Am Großen Wannsee villa, was built in 1915 by pharmaceutical manufacturer Ernst Marlier and purchased by industrialist Friedrich Minoux in 1921. In 1940, it was acquired by the Nazi regime to be used as a holiday destination for SS members.

The luxurious villa was inaugurated in the fall of 1941, with officials highlighting its spacious and heated rooms and halls, a music and billiard room, a balcony overlooking the Großer Wannsee lake, and food, wine, beer and tobacco products available in plenty.

Within its walls, 15 senior Nazi officials – among them notorious Holocaust perpetrators Reinhard Heydrich and Adolf Eichmann – gathered to implement the Final Solution.

The conference set out how Jews would be separated from the rest of society and exterminated. The Nazis planned to exterminate at least 11 million Jews spread over 35 countries and territories. The Reich officials discussed how to transport Jews eastward, gather them in ghettos and use them for slave labor. The protocol of the conference pointed out that officials expressed concern that the “remnant” of Jews who would remain would be the most resistant and could “become the germ-cell of a new Jewish revival.”

Religious and social leaders gathered in Berlin to mark the occasion and discuss its implications. Simon Wiesenthal Center Associate Dean and Global Social Action Director Rabbi Abraham Cooper pointed out that the participants of the Wannsee Conference were educated Christians who were fully aware of the genocide they were planning.

“In a mere 90 minutes, 15 Nazis, not thugs, but elites, sealed the fate of millions of Jews,” said Cooper. “Wannsee provides proof that the Shoah (the Holocaust) may have been the vision of one man, but it was embraced and carried out by all who marched in lockstep with the Fuehrer, including bureaucrats who never fired a gun in anger.”

Cooper referred to a statement by Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal in 1980 in response to the question of if the Holocaust could happen again. “‘When you have organized hate by a government, a crisis, and technology anything is possible,’ I heard Mr. Wiesenthal reply, adding, ‘if the technology of the Nazis had been available during the time of the Spanish Inquisition, no Jew would have survived in Spain; no Catholic in England, no Protestant in France.'”

The rabbi stressed that modern technology, especially social media, has provided “unprecedented access for today’s haters and tomorrow’s potential genociders across global platforms.”

“Never Again! For Jewish people—there was no state of Israel in the 1930s and 1940s,” said Cooper. “We will support a strong Jewish state, without apologies, strong enough to defend itself from genocide seekers, wise enough to build a future based on the Jewish people’s values.”

“Never Again! For Germans – First and foremost—Do no harm to Jewish people,” added Cooper. “Domestically, there must be accountability for all perpetrators of antisemitism. Compiling incidents alone will not stop the hate or the Jew-haters. Accountability also means accountability.”

Cooper also called on the German government to confront Iran and protest its denial of the Holocaust. “Hold the Ayatollah Khamenei accountable when he endorses another ‘Final Solution,’ when he and his thugs threaten a nuclear Holocaust to wipe out another six million Jews, citizens of a democratic Jewish state.”

Reverend Johnnie Moore, a former commissioner in the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, referenced the Colleyville synagogue attack during the conference, saying “while the US has plenty of antisemitism itself…our country was touched this week by an Islamist antisemite who came from Britain all the way to the US in order to take a synagogue hostage.”

“We have a crisis on our hands,” added Moore. “As faith leaders still grappling with the lessons of the Holocaust, it’s up to us to lead, not to wait for the politicians or the opinion polls or, God-forbid, for another attack, another deadly attack on Jews.”

Moore stressed that all the attendees of the Wannsee Conference were Christians. “You also couldn’t dismiss them as uneducated or underprivileged, it was the cultured German name that gave us the Wannsee 15. Eight of the 15 had doctorates, most of them had studied law.”

“While we like to highlight the courage of those Christians who stood against the Nazis…it’s also important for us to first remember that the vast majority of the Nazis were Christians and this great horror took place in a Christian country in Christian Europe,” pointed out Moore.

Chief Rabbi of Moscow Pinchas Goldschmidt pointed out during the conference that “when evil is being perpetrated, it is being perpetrated not only be evil people, it is being perpetrated because good people do nothing, because good people keep quiet. This is the banality of evil.” Goldschmidt added that the purpose of interfaith dialogue is to prevent a situation when good people stand by as evil happens. The chief rabbi stressed that “technocrats” need to be held responsible to fight antisemitism, such as on social media.