In Christopher Browning’s book, Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland, he explains to us all about his study of German Order Police Reserve Unit 101. During the time of the Holocaust, Reserve Unit 101 committed massacres and round-ups of the Jewish population for deportation to the Nazi concentration camps occupied by the Germany in Poland. These men apart of Unit 101 were normal middle-ages gentlemen, who were drafted to be Nazi soldiers, but found ineligible for regular military duty. Upon their return to Poland in 1942, they were ordered to terrorize the Jewish population in Poland and in certain cases commit large massacres of certain towns throughout Poland. The purpose behind the book is to show the readers
Unlike most authors, Browning’s principal thesis of his book is not stated at the beginning of his book, instead he chooses to explain it in the last paragraph of the book. He states, “Within virtually every social collective, the peer group exerts tremendous pressures on behavior and sets moral norms.” Throughou...
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...because they were told to, but also wanted to it as well. Before reading this, I never read anything that had personal stories from Nazi soldiers about their personal experiences in the Holocaust. After reading the book, it showed me that these men had to do it, but really did not want to do it at all. Yes, there were men who wanted to do it because they were just as twisted in the head as Hitler was, but there was also many others who did not want to do it. In the end, I could say I was satisfied with what I read and saw in Browning’s book. I would recommend this book not only to people interested in the Holocaust, but also those interested in learning about the role society could play on individuals during certain time periods. I wish I read this book early because as a Political Science major, I could have used this in a few papers I have written in the past.
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