Was there any opposition or criticism among the Nazi military high command regarding the diversion of resources to the concentration camps?

Mar 2016
1,222
Australia
#1
I've seen it mentioned before that there was a significant wastage of precious resources - both in terms of money and manpower - that went into establishing and maintaining the Nazi program of concentration camps, much of which could have been used instead by the military to further their war goals, especially in the last few years of the war where resources became more scarce. Were there any less fanatical and less ideologically motivated generals, field marshals or other high-ranking Germans that questioned the practical wisdom (note: not morality) of this usage of resources, when the war effort was considerably more important? Did any of them have any success convincing Hitler to tone down the diversion of resources to the camps and other various extermination practices?
 

Nemowork

Ad Honorem
Jan 2011
8,446
South of the barcodes
#2
Practically everyone.

The concentration camps were set up as a way of isolating people who were seen as a threat to good order, it was easier to guard and control them inside sealed camps than it was having them running around causing sabotage, political dissent or aiding the enemy which would have used up police time, damaged the war effort and so on.

Under Nazi ideology these were communists, anti-nazi politicians, foreign soldiers especially Poles and Russians and unreliable ethnic groups especially jews.

The problem is that keeping these people under supervision is still an expense which is why the Nazis split into two camps (sorry!) who wanted to use the prisoners as war labour producing weapons, uniforms and so on and the extremists who wanted to cut out the expense by killing the prisoners.

The person who had the biggest effect on halting the extermination was probably Aurthur Harris, once the air bombing campaign hit high gear the Nazis had to move their factories underground, that meant Jewish slave labour which meant the prisoners were suddenly a vital military resource.

I'm not sure being worked to death building a cavern under Kohnstein for Dora-Mittelbau is an improvement but you at lest had a 60% chance of survival unlike Sobibor where it was zero.

But you'd need to be looking at people like Todt and Speer on the German side.
 
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