National Socialist Germany and forced labor

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The relationship between National Socialist Germany and forced labor is controversial.

The politically correct view is that National Socialist Germany made extensive use of forced labor by groups such as camp prisoners, POWs, and foreign workers. The treatment is argued to often have been very poor and in some cases to have amounted to deliberate and even planned murders ("extermination through labor").

Revisionists have disputed various aspects of this, but not the existence of forced labor for various groups.

Forced labor in camps

The increased demands for laborers by the war industries, conscription of many men, war casualties, and evacuations/deportations of able workers by Soviets before the German advance is argued to have created constant labor shortages in Germany and many occupied areas. This contributed to the use of forced labor and deportations.[1]

Despite this, allegedly all Jews, able to work or not, were gassed immediately on arrival to camps such as the Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka camps. More generally, also at some other places, even the Jews able work were allegedly killed immediately. This has been argued to be absurd claims considering that numerous documents state that the German industry was in constant and desperate need of manpower during the war and that many measures were taken in the labor camps in order to maintain the work force and keep it in a condition fit for work.[1][2]

Not only Jews, but a variety of other groups were in the camps, including common criminals, and they could also be used for forced labor.

More generally regarding revisionist views on the motivations for the camps, see Holocaust motivations.

Otto Thierack and "extermination through labor"

See the article on Otto Thierack regarding documents allegedly authored by him and discussing a policy of "extermination through labor" of certain groups.

Fritz Sauckel

Regarding confessions by Fritz Sauckel, the General Plenipotentiary for Labor Deployment, see the article on Sauckel.

The "Wannsee Protocol"

A well-known document mentioning forced labor (and allegedly even this as an extermination method) is the "Wannsee Protocol".

Foreign workers

Revisionists have disputed various aspects of the politically correct depiction of foreign workers, and, for example, argued that the foreign workers usually came voluntarily to Germany for work, and have rejected claims such that millions of foreign workers were murdered.[3]

Use of German forced labor by the Allies

Much less often mentioned is the use of millions of German forced labor by the Allies after the war.

See also

External links

Article archives


  1. 1.0 1.1 Holocaust Handbooks, Volume 1: Germar Rudolf (ed.): Dissecting the Holocaust—The Growing Critique of ‘Truth’ and ‘Memory’ 2nd, revised edition.
  2. Carlo Mattogno, Jürgen Graf, Thomas Kues: The “Extermination Camps” of “Aktion Reinhardt”—An Analysis and Refutation of Factitious “Evidence,” Deceptions and Flawed Argumentation of the “Holocaust Controversies” Bloggers; 2nd edition. Holocaust Handbooks.
  3. Foreign Workers in the Third Reich