In 1938, Nazi leader Hermann Goering announced that in order to "solve the problem of the Jews," the African island of Madagascar was being considered as a giant ghetto for 4 million European Jews. The plan was seriously considered by Hitler in May 1940, in his discussions with Mussolini and Nazi officials. Hitler's idea was that the Jews would play the role of hostages, as a way to prevent the United States from entering the war. The Madagascar Plan was cancelled due to a British blockade. One year later, it was decided that the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question" would mean extermination.
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