There was a problem adding your email address. In Marchsome 75 to 80 percent of all victims of the Holocaust were still alive.
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.
At this point in the book, Browning brings us back to the cliffhanger moment he ended the first chapter. From there, the battalion was put to the task of rounding up the local Jewish population, separate those men of working age from the rest, and shooting the remainder. It is worth noting that among the vast majority who did not take Major Trapp up on his offer, there were those who sought to avoid the killings by taking extra time in the roundup, hiding from their officers, and intentionally missing their victims while participating in the firing squad Browning, There were also those who, after participating in the first waves of shootings, could not participate in further killings.
The first person accounts that Browning presents do nothing to spare the reader of the gore involved. He surmises that the very small number of men 13 out of who took Trapp up on his offer can be explained, in part, by the suddenness of the offer.
Here we are given some insight into the human psyche, as it pertained to these perpetrators of genocide. Not only did they try to deny personal responsibility, being that they did indeed have some level of choice of whether they were going to participate in the shootings or not, but they actively tried to justify their actions.
Browning proceeds to analyze the cases of the small number of abstainers. One claimed to be an active Communist Party member, and hence was politically motivated not to take part in the killings.
Yet, only a minority chose to evade, with a majority choosing to conform. First it must be said that the investigation from lead to a woefully inadequate outcome, with very short prison sentences for the three who were convicted four and three-and-a-half year sentences for police captains Hoffmann and Wohlaufand other charges were dropped outright Browning, Nonetheless, Browning considers this outcome to be a success, being that other attempts to bring the battalions under the Order Police did not share this level of success.
In the remainder of the book, Browning attempts to answer the question: The book closes with the following statement and question: If the men of Reserve Police Battalion cold become killers under such circumstances, what group of men cannot?
People hardly envision middle-age working class men in this position, and that is why the account of Reserve Police Battalion is particularly unsettling. So, when the State turns genocidal, the task falls to the working class people the State governs.Christopher Browning's 'Ordinary Men' is a concise, important contribution to Holocaust studies in which the author demonstrates a grasp of the existing body of /5.
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 .
Ordinary Men b Christopher Browning Essay Words | 7 Pages. In the book Ordinary Men, Christopher Browning tackles the question of why German citizens engaged in nefarious behavior that led to the deaths of millions of Jewish and other minorities throughout Europe.
Ordinary Men is a book by Christopher Browning explaining the life experiences of the order police assigned to concentration camps in Poland. Browning wrote this book with the belief that ordinary men were not all for killing the Jews with a poor excuse of them just being Jewish.4/4.
Jan 20, · Ordinary Men is a very carefully argued and documented book. Much of the book, as one of my students pointed out, is simply description after description of the atrocities.
These set up Browning’s attempts to explain the men’s behavior at the end. Christopher Browning’s Ordinary Men is an analysis of Police Battalion , a single Battalion of the Order Police that served as a mass-execution squad in Poland in Over this time the roughly men participated .