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The Einsatzgruppen were actually like ordinary police. They were never actually told to create death camps initially, it was just more ... efficient, so Nazi sub leadership switched to that somewhat independently.

This book makes an interesting point about the bottom-up theory of what really started the Holocaust (this is an unforgettable read, I feel like author literally accounted for every death batch (and yes ‘batch’ has to be used due to the scale):


Basically, it was simple broad directives that got interpreted by these disparate elements of the Nazis in the Eastern front. What does it mean if someone is not only a Jew, but also a communist Russian? Pretty much an instant threat, and forward deployed units liberally interpreted it into mass-killing vs forced labor camps. Once that genie was out of the bottle, you would look unproductive in the regime if you weren’t upping the ante.

What is the CCP creating here? You want units with blood on their hands ratcheting up new and interesting ways of currying favor with the regime? Hey bosses, I found a great new way to promote CCP Authority, forget Uighur camps, get a load of this. Suddenly you have a macabre competition within a peculiar institution that can only become darker if left to find it’s own logical purpose (be the very best ccp you can be, whatever that means, and oh John the guy you started with recently rose the ranks doing this, not saying you should too, but take some initiative).

No master plan, just a dark organic evolution.

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