Analysis Of Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101

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In Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 And The Final Solution Christopher Browning systematically searches through historical records to trace the actions of the Nazi police Battalion 101. This battalion consisted of older, middle-aged men who joined the police battalion to avoid conscription and the frontline, by all means these men were normal and respectable however, during the Final Solution they were turned into hardened killers. Browning evaluates the factors that these men experienced and attempts to understand how these men were so easily turned from family men into the war machine that Hitler and Himmler used them for. The first thing Browning talks about is how the battalion was before the dreadful day at Jozefow which is …show more content…
Under the direct order of Major Trapp and Heinrich Himmler these men felt obligated to assume the roles of killers as that is what they were ordered to do. These men used the pretense of the orders to become killers. Some men may have had a natural tendency towards violence, while a majority of the men needed a reason to kill. The justifying reason was the orders all of the men felt like they could not disobey the orders from their superiors or they would have been reprimanded or worse. Just like the guards in Zimbardo’s study the men of police battalion 101 assumed the roles that they were …show more content…
What made this men different then their fellow men? Browning looked through the records of many of the men who were recorded avoiding firing squads or refusing orders to kill Jews, what he found is that these men were older and had no anti-Semitic behaviors. The first point is important as these men were more advanced in life and usually had successful careers and families at this point and, as a result they were not scared of the repercussions of refusing orders since they had a livelihood to fall back on. The younger men had no such career to fall back on and to many of the men the police force seemed like the only way out of a life of mediocrity and they did not want to do anything that could hurt their police record. The second factor however is just as important as these men had experienced and fought in WW1 and predated the Nazi’s, these men had no natural hatred of the Jewish people and harbored no irrational dislike towards them either. Because of this these men had the combined luxury of being able to refuse orders because they had a successful career to fall back upon, this paired with the lack of hatred of the Jews led them to refuse the orders and refrain from becoming

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