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.
You've referred to a few people claiming that the Germans didn't have a Jewish extermination plan in their concentration camps. I recognize a few of the names, I don't have time to look up all of the unfamiliar ones.
The Nazis ran 4 types of detainment camps, lets call them Concentration, Work(forced labor), Extermination, and Transit
As it became clearer that Nazis would not win against the Allies, the Nazis stepped up efforts in the Extermination camps.
As far as I know, the American forces only saw the results of the detainment camps, and never got to the extermination camps (they were in territory that eventually was held by the Soviets).
There's a good book on how the empires of Hitler and the USSR squeezed between them the jews and slavs of Eastern Europe, resulting in millions of deaths, "Bloodlands"