I herewith commission you to carry out all preparations with regard to ... a total solution of the Jewish question in those territories of Europe which are under German influence.... I furthermore charge you to submit to me as soon as possible a draft showing the ... measures already taken for the execution of the intended final solution of the Jewish question.
Hermann Goering (1893–1946), German Nazi leader. Military directive, July 31, 1941. Quoted in The Rise and Full of the Third Reich, ch. 27, William L. Shirer (1960).
According to Shirer, at Goering's trial at Nuremberg, the German word Endloesung was erroneously rendered "desired solution," thus allowing the judge to believe Goering's contention that he had never used the terms "total" or "final solution"M"the first time I learned of these terrible exterminations," Goering stated, "was right here at Nuremberg."