The conclusion of the book, which was much influenced by the Milgram experiment on obedience, was that the men of Unit were not demons or Nazi fanatics but ordinary middle-aged men of working-class background from Hamburgwho had been drafted but found unfit for military duty. In the course of the murderous Operation Reinhardthese men were ordered to round up Jews, and if there was not enough room for them on the trains, to shoot them. In other, more chilling cases, they were ordered simply to kill a specified number of Jews in a given town or area. In one instance, the commander of the unit gave his men the choice of opting out of this duty if they found it too unpleasant; the majority chose not to exercise that option, resulting in fewer than 15 men out of a battalion of opting out.
We envision brutes and sadists; stereotypical villains with no moral sensibility who indulge in killing like depraved beasts, killing the innocent for pleasure and thrills.
Reserve Police Battalion and the Final Solution in Poland tells the story of normal people who are commissioned to carry out horrific deeds in the most notorious mass killing in modern history, and offers an important insight into who the perpetrators of genocide really are.
Browning begins his book by giving statistics on the particular importance of Poland to the Nazi Holocaust. In mid-Februarythe percentages were exactly the reverse.
At the core of the Holocaust was a short, intense wave of mass murder. For Browning, this begged the following question: This line of inquiry led him to the State Administrations of Justice in Ludwigsburg, Germany, which is the office for coordinating the investigation of Nazi crimes in the FRG.
It was here that Browning first encountered the indictment of Reserve Police Battalion Browning then describes the particular effect this indictment had on him. 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.
This short chapter leaves the reader on something of a cliffhanger, in that we are not told if anyone decided to take Trapp up on his offer and abstain from taking part in genocide.
One would think or at least hope that anyone in that position would immediately avoid having to play the role of executioner for thousands of innocent people.
But rather than address this issue in the first few pages, Browning begins the next chapter. Chapter two describes in detail the origins of the Order Police of which Reserve Police Battalion is a part as an attempt for post WWI Germany to create an army of police with military training and equipment.
After several attempts to subvert the Treaty of Versailles, the election of the Nazi party into power, and the incorporation of police paramilitary units into the regular army, the Order Police gradually came into being.
The Order Police grew in size toby mid Browning, 8. In the next chapter, Browning outlines the involvement of the Order Police in the slaughter of Soviet Jews in The author goes to describe the beginnings of the genocide in the city of Bialystok and other nearby towns as they escalated from beatings and humiliations including one disturbing account of an Order Police commander urinating on a Jewish leader who was begging for mercy for him and his people to dragging large numbers of Jews into the woods and shooting them.
The chapter ends with a report from the German Civil Administrator in Slutsk, in which the brutality of the affair is chronicled from the perspective of a conscientious objector to the genocide.
In addition to carrying out shootings, the Order Police also played a role in facilitating the deportation of Jews from eastern and western Europe to the concentration camps.
After having endowed the reader with a level of understanding as to the origin of the Order Police, and their role in genocide up to that point, we finally come to the issue at hand: Reserve Police Battalion However, inall of the pre-war recruits to the battalion below the rank of noncommissioned officer were distributed to other units, and replaced with drafted reservists Browning This means that by the time that Battalion was on its second tour of duty in Poland invery few of them were experienced in the task that would ultimately lay before them.
Browning concludes this chapter with an analysis of the makeup of the Battalion, which consisted mostly of working class, middle aged men from Hamburg. The author notes that these men all went through their formative period before the Nazis came into power.Christopher R.
Browning’s shocking account of how a unit of average middle-aged Germans became the cold-blooded murderers of tens of thousands of Jews—now with a new afterword and additional photographs.
Ordinary Men is the true story of Reserve Police Battalion of /5.
Christopher Browning is the author of this book named as ordinary men: reserve police battalion and the final solution in Poland.
He is working at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the department of history. Contact About Links: Search results Found matching titles: Homeward Songs by the Way A.E.
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Biography. Daniel Goldhagen was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to Erich and Norma webkandii.com grew up in nearby Newton. His wife Sarah (née Williams) is an architectural historian, and critic for The New Republic magazine..
Daniel Goldhagen's father is Erich Goldhagen, a retired Harvard professor. The German War: A Nation Under Arms, By: Nicholas Stargardt. Throughout Nicholas Stargardt’s book, The German War: A Nation Under Arms, , the author provides an analysis of the Second World War through the perspective and experiences of ordinary German soldiers and webkandii.comically, Stargardt focuses his attention on the mentality of the German people during this.