In July 1941, Hermann Goering sent the following memorandum to Reinhard Heydrich, the chief of Reich security and deputy head of the SS. In this memo, Goering instructed Heydrich to organise a ‘total solution’ to the ‘Jewish problem’ in German-occupied territories. This memo is considered a cornerstone document in the evolution and implementation of the Final Solution:
The Reich Marshal of the Greater German Reich
Commissioner for the Four-Year Plan
Chairman of the Ministerial Council for National Defense
Berlin, July 31st 1941
To: SS-Gruppenführer Heydrich
Complementing the task that was assigned to you on January 24th 1939, which dealt with a solution of the Jewish problem through emigration and evacuation as advantageously as possible, I hereby charge you with making all necessary preparations, with regard to organisational and financial matters, for bringing about a total solution of the Jewish question in the German sphere of influence in Europe.
Wherever other governmental agencies are involved, they are to cooperate with you. I charge you furthermore to send me, before long, an overall plan concerning the organisational, factual and material measures necessary for the accomplishment of the desired solution of the Jewish question.