By January 1942, he had decided that the Jews, Slavs, and other deportees considered undesirable should be killed. The genocide was organised and executed by Heinrich Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich. The records of the Wannsee Conference, held on 20 January 1942 and led by Heydrich, with fifteen senior Nazi officials participating, provide the clearest evidence of systematic planning for the Holocaust.
From the outbreak of the South-East Asian theatre of World War II, Christmas Island was a target for Japanese occupation because of its rich phosphate deposits. The first attack was carried out on 20 January 1942, by Japanese submarine I-59, which torpedoed a Norwegian freighter, the Eidsvold. The vessel drifted and eventually sank off West White Beach. Most of the European and Asian staff and their families were evacuated to Perth.