Christopher Browning describes how the Reserve Police Battalion 101, like the rest of German society, was immersed in a flood of racist and anti-Semitic propaganda. Browning describes how the Order Police provided indoctrination both in basic training and as an ongoing practice within each unit. Many of the members were not prepared for the killing of Jews. The author examines the reasons some of the police members did not shoot. The physiological effect of isolation, rejection, and ostracism is examined in the context of being assigned to a foreign land with a hostile population. The contradictions imposed by the demands of conscience on the one hand and the norms of the battalion on the other are discussed. Ordinary Men provides a graphic portrayal of Police Battalion 101's involvement in the Holocaust.
The major focus of the book focuses on reconstruction of the events this group of men participated in. According to Browning, the men of Police Battalion 101 were just that—ordinary. They were five hundred middle-aged, working-class men of German descent. A majority of these men were neither Nazi party members nor members of the S.S. They were also from Hamburg, which was a town that was one of the least occupied Nazi areas of Germany and, thus, were not as exposed to the Nazi regime. These men were not self-selected to be part of the order police, nor were they specially selected because of violent characteristics. These men were plucked from their normal lives, put into squads, and given the mission to kill Jews because they were the only people available for the task. “Even in the face of death the Jewish mothers did not separate from their children. Thus we tolerated the mothers taking their children to the ma...
... middle of paper ...
...e men are not as intimately involved with their victims. This allows the men of Battalion 101 to be more efficient killers because the more removed a man was from the killing, the more methodical that man can become when committing murder.
In conclusion, I believe that this book was very informative and compelling because it engulfed the reader in the blatant and mindless actions of Police Battalion 101, and it showed a believable depiction of the atrocities of genocide throughout the Holocaust. The book revealed truths such as these policemen were given many opportunities to get out of killing Jews. However, many did not take the opportunity to walk away and instead committed themselves to becoming specialized experts in the "resettlement" of Jews. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the Holocaust and the reasons why many of these men became killers.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Christopher Browning shows how the Police Battalion 101 was given a lot of racist of propaganda against the Jewish people. Browning says in his book, Ordinary Men, Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland, how the police helped in training and the practice of killing many people at once when forming the Battalion 101. Many of the members were not expecting to kill thousands of Jewish people. Browning shows why some of the new police members did not shoot the Jews that they were told to kill.... [tags: book review, Police Battalion 101]
786 words (2.2 pages)
- Review of Ordinary Resurrections by Jonathan Kozol In his book, Ordinary Resurrections: Children in the Years of Hope, Jonathan Kozol pulls back the veil and provides readers with a glimpse of the harsh conditions and unrelenting hope that exists in a community located in the South Bronx called Mott Haven. Mr. Kozol provides his own socially conscious and very informative view of the issues facing the children and educators in this poverty ravaged neighborhood. Just his commentary would paint a very bleak picture of the future.... [tags: Book Reviews Kozol Poverty Resurrections Essays]
2123 words (6.1 pages)
- World War II-one of the most devastating events in history that will always be remembered whether by textbooks, personal accounts, or merely just stories about how one man could have done the impossible: conquered the world. As students today and future generations learn about the War, they are exposed to the battles, leaders, political parties, heroes, and turmoil of this period; however, important events that often were overshadowed are slowly becoming forgotten and neglected. Robert Edsel, in his book The Monuments Men, tells the story of the “greatest treasure hunt in history” and the race to sa The Monuments Men is set during World War II, but primarily focuses on the Monuments Men an... [tags: world war II, robert edsel, germans]
1644 words (4.7 pages)
- Ordinary Men Book Review Due to the outbreak of war with Poland and the allies Germany was forced to create police divisions that would be responsible for overseeing German occupied territories in Europe. These police divisions called Order Police had been around since World War I as the German military was dissolved and extremely limited by the Treaty of Versailles the government created these police formations to resist revolutionary forces. (Browning, p.1) Although, once the Nazi’s gained power in 1933 Hitler denounced the Treaty of Versailles and began rearming Germany and as a result the Order Police would continue to grow in size astronomically years following.... [tags: treaty of versailles, jews, death]
928 words (2.7 pages)
- "American Slavery" Book Review This book achieved its goal by reflecting the past and history of American Slavery. We can see through much detail what America was and has become throughout the era of slavery. It was the Colonial era that America began to see what true slavery would soon become. The author, Peter Kolchin, tried to interpret the true history of slavery. He wants the readers to understand the depth to which the slaves lived under bondage. In the book, he describes the history of the Colonial era and how slavery began.... [tags: Peter Kolchin]
968 words (2.8 pages)
- Review of "War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning" War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, written by the talented author Chris Hedges, gives us provoking thoughts that are somewhat painful to read but at the same time are quite personal confessions. Chris Hedges, a talented journalist to say the least, brings nearly 15 years of being a foreign correspondent to this book and subjectively concludes how all of his world experiences tie together. Throughout his book, he unifies themes present in all wars he experienced first hand.... [tags: Book Reviews War Force Chris Hedges Essays]
1755 words (5 pages)
- A Review of Emma I’ve read Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and most recently Emma. All of them are wonderful, and I can never decide which one is my favorite book by Jane Austen. But definitely Emma is, to me, a very engaging one. I have no special feeling about this book at first glance. Because of Jane Austen, I choose it and take some patience to read. And finally, the patience is greatly rewarded. Emma is a timeless story which is both funny and compelling. The characters are all really well developed, especially Emma, a 21-year-old girl, who is portrayed as incredibly human.... [tags: essays research papers]
1616 words (4.6 pages)
- "There are no extraordinary men... just extraordinary circumstances that ordinary men are faced to deal with" (William Halsey). The same can be said about volatile men. This is the quote Christopher R. Browning thought of when he named this book. The men of the 101st battalion were rarely faced with decisions. Even if it had been proposed by Trapp the morning of Jozefow that "any of the older men who did not feel up to the task that lay before them could step out" (Browning, chapter 7, pg. 57), he didn't actually allow them any time to truly think about it.... [tags: Browning Ordinary Men]
1077 words (3.1 pages)
- Ordinary Men by Browning The men of Reserve Police Battalion 101 were just ordinary men, from a variety of backgrounds, education, and age. It would appear that they were not selected by any force other than random chance. Their backgrounds and upbringing, however, did little to prepare these men for the horrors they were to witness and participate in. The group was made up of both citizens and career policemen. Major Wilhelm Trapp, a career policeman and World War I veteran headed the battalion.... [tags: Browning Ordinary Men Essays]
1625 words (4.6 pages)
- I found through my reading of the Odyssey that Loyalty played a significant role in its development. Loyalty by its definition means a firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or institution. Homer presents four major illustrations of loyalty, which are given by Penelope, Telemachus, the servants Eumaeus and Philoetius, and Odysseus. Penelope is Odysseus's devoted wife who not only does not re-marry, but also keeps hope that Odysseus is still alive. Telemachus embarks on a journey to find his father, who he has no recollection of.... [tags: Book Review]
743 words (2.1 pages)