The House of Wannsee Conference (Gedenkstätte Haus der Wannseekonferenz) is located on the Wannsee River, on the outskirts of West Berlin. This historical landmark was built in 1915 for Ernst Marlier, a prominent businessman. He was arrested in 1940 for embezzlement and sold his property. During the Nazi era, the Wannsee House came to be used by the SS Security Service, the Nazi intelligence service. It was at the villa that SS officers planned the future of the Third Reich. After the war, the house was used as a residence, until the August Bebel Institute acquired the building in 1947. It was then used as a school and hostel for the Berlin Social Democratic Party, until 1988 when it became the memorial site it is today.
Auschwitz survivor, Joseph Wulf, is really to thank for the inauguration of the Wannsee House as a memorial site. Mr. Wulf published the first comprehensive collection of documents from the Nazi regime, and suggested creating a documenter center in the Marlier villa. Although Wulf had wide public support, the Berlin Senate was slow to accept his proposal. Sadly, Joseph Wulf did not see his vision realized, as the man committed suicide in 1974.