Were they just following orders? The mental toll from repeatedly shooting men, woman and children in the neck at point blank range was debilitating for many. Despite German reversals in the war, and despite the need for the Jews' labor, Himmler was determined to finish them off. It's about a Reserve Police Battalion in Poland. It hung on their clothing. Stuffed into cattle cars, they broke holes in the walls and roofs only to be shot as they emerged. Never before had I encountered the the issue of choice so dramatically framed by the course of events and so openly discussed by at least some of the perpetrators. During 16 months, Reserve Police Battalion 101, a unit of just over 450 men from Hamburg, was responsible in Poland for the shooting of 39,000 Jews and the deportation to Treblinka of 44,000 more.
Yet, only a minority chose to evade, with a majority choosing to conform. From there, the battalion was put to the task of rounding up the local Jewish population, separate those men of working age from the rest, and shooting the remainder. Browning concludes this chapter with an analysis of the makeup of the Battalion, which consisted mostly of working class, middle aged men from Hamburg. Their motives were quite ordinary: careerism and peer pressure. The trial was mainly focused on the shooing of the seventy-eight Poles in Talcyn rather than the other murderous actions they committed against the Polish Jews.
In August, Battalion 101 assisted in collecting Jews from various villages, for transportation to Treblinka, collecting them and packing them into the infamous cattle cars. Browning is heavily influenced by fellow historian Raul Hilberg, dedicating Ordinary Men to him. His argument, at its most stripped down, is essentially that ordinary people follow instructions from government and authority figures, especially outside their comfort zone, and will not want to risk alienation by not complying. Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland London 1992 Browning, C. Someone had to round up the Jews in ghettos, herd them onto trains to the death camps, shoot the ones who couldn't walk or evaded. Second, Browning does a good job of bringing in lots of important outside context such as major concepts from psychology, while not getting bogged down in details or simply cataloguing horror after horror which would be, quite literally, nauseating. The Holocaust on Trial, New York: W.
One claimed to be an active Communist Party member, and hence was politically motivated not to take part in the killings. Police Battalion 310 in Russia, 1942, Found 15 November, 2011 J. In any case, Browning is correct that the behavior of Reserve Police Battalion 101 is not unique. This thesis is the theory that these ordinary people could commit these atrocities in the Holocaust because of the pressure from their peers and country that were participating in these appalling acts of violence and massacres of innocent people. He has published many different notable books in regards to Nazi Germany and the events that occurred during the time of the Holocaust.
Judging others is never that easy. You would have to hang several ordinary men that you are probably no better than. You can't just ignore what doesn't fit your hypothesis and pick and choose pieces of quotes to make them fit your side of the story. Very few had any Nazi political background; most, to the extent they had political views, were probably Social Democrats. Browning; Leon Wieseltier April 8, 1996. Even this Trapp tried to mitigate. Goldhagen focuses in on how this had been a growing phenomenon and was already a problem right after the end of World War I.
Someone had to round up the Jews in ghettos, herd them onto trains to the death camps, shoot the ones who couldn't walk or evaded. Each truckload was met by an equal number of policemen, who marched the Jews down a forest path. I held it in my hand. This link is a response written by Daniel Goldhagen to a review of his book. Many of them were ordinary men with no record or thoughts of murder or… 1075 Words 5 Pages behind the atrocities of the Holocaust came from all over Europe and a wide variety of backgrounds. In fact, the soldiers found it much more difficult to kill German speaking Jews, especially those who had fled Germany.
And yet, Browning notes, remarkably, only 12 out of the 500 men in Reserve Police Battalion 101 opted not to shoot innocent people. These men would not seem to have been a very promising group from which to recruit mass murderers on behalf of the Nazi vision of a racial utopia free of Jews. And I realize I didn't break any new ground here but that's really why I love this so much. The fourth is anti-Semitism, conditioned by years of Nazi propaganda or, perhaps, as discussed below, by the German social culture and pysche itself, not merely by Nazism. Parts of the skull flew into Sergeant Steinmetz's face. I'm not a psychologist so I'm probably wrong, but here goes.
. The mass of men in the battalion had gotten used to carrying out their orders. As Browning points out, that would make it intent and the intent makes it homicide. It shows how the men were affected differently by this heinous crime - some became efficient and enthusiastic killers, some ref A fascinating book on the role of ordinary policemen in the holocaust. The basis of this novel relies on the need to show that these men were not necessarily physically forced to commit these heinous acts, but that… 935 Words 4 Pages Christopher R.
It makes one weep for humanity. At the end of world war ll the Jewish community and the the rest of the world were crying for… 1630 Words 7 Pages Ordinary Men by Browning The men of Reserve Police Battalion 101 were just ordinary men, from a variety of backgrounds, education, and age. Overall, this is a harrowing work that needs reading. Ordinary Men allows an opportunity to see these events from the eyes of the perpetrators and their journey that led to what seems to people today as ruthless, unscrupulous murder. First, they may help you decide which books you should put on your shelf, based on a quick review of some of the ideas discussed.