The Demise Of The Nazi Regime Essay

The Demise Of The Nazi Regime Essay

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After the demise of the Nazi Regime and decades of research and inquiry, sociologists and historians established a multitude of theories in an attempt to rationalize and indeed understand the events that transpired under the Third Reich. Their conclusions covered every aspect of life prior to and during Hitler’s reign, ranging from the hierarchical structure of the regime to the ideological radicalization of troops on the Eastern Front, but few were as poignant as Browning’s Ordinary Men. Browning’s preface spoke volumes about his intentions, as he stated that had he been in the policemen’s’ shoes “I could have been either a killer or an evader… [but] explaining is not excusing.” As the author followed the evolution of mass murder and deportation that the police reserve adopted, the soldiers became increasingly sickening in their actions yet victimized themselves, often drinking themselves senseless to cope with the weight of their individual and collective actions . As the Final Solution was put in place and gradually developed, the orders given to and carried out by the Order Police changed dramatically, but at any given moment men who had been raised in pre-Nazi Germany found themselves actively assisting their state in continent wide genocide, be it through mass shootings that culminated in a minimum of 38,000 dead or rounding up and shipping Jews to camps where they often perished . In particular the mass shootings of Jozefow and Lomazy provided excellent insight into the moral dilemmas these men faced and their subsequent reactions to the orders they received, as they varied considerably despite having similar results.
The shooting conducted outside of Jozefow illustrated just how unprepared the German military was for th...

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...ying Jews. Browning led the audience to believe that the men who took part in a series of mass shootings, systematic killings, deportation to camps, and other acts of brutality were the men they would find running shops and businesses, but unfortunately he fails to explore their lives post World War II. Regardless of what he attributed their actions to, careerism, fear of reprisal, conformity, racial ideology, ultimately those men returned home after murdering thousands of individuals, and the lack of depth into how they lived out their lives was disappointing. After spending years researching about the origins and actions of Battalion 101, Browning concluded his book with extensive references to sociological experiments and theories to better understand the actions of a few hundred men rather than exploring how and why they made their decisions and lived with them.

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