Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland
ISBN: 0062303023
EAN13: 9780062303028
Language: English
Pages: 384
Dimensions: 1.00" H x 8.00" L x 5.00" W
Weight: 1.00 lbs.
Format: Paperback
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Book Overview
In March 1942, approximately 75 to 80 percent of all victims of the Holocaust were still alive. Eleven months later, 75 to 80 percent were dead -- the result, according to Christopher R. Browning, of a short, intense wave of mass murder centered in Poland. One German unit of just over 450 men, Reserve Police Battalion 101, was responsible for the shooting of 39,000 Polish Jews and the deportation of 44,000 more to the Treblinka death camp over a period of 16 months. In this chilling and stunningly powerful work, Browning describes how a group of average men became the cold-blooded murderers of tens of thousands of Jews. Drawing on a judicial interrogation of 210 members of the Battalion in the 1960's, he paints a portrait of the soldiers who took so many lives and comes to a disturbing conclusion about the universality of such barbarity in our world. Christopher R. Browning is a professor of history at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. He is a contributor to Yad Vashem's official twenty-four volume history of the Holocaust and the author of three books on the subject. A remarkable -- and singularly chilling -- glimpse of human behavior ... This meticulously researched book ... represents a major contribution to the literature of the Holocaust. -- Andrew Nagorski, Newsweek
Editor Reviews
From the Back Cover Ordinary Men is the true story of Reserve Police Battalion 101 of the German Order Police, which was responsible for mass shootings as well as roundups of Jewish people for deportation to Nazi death camps in Poland in 1942. Browning argues that most of the men of RPB 101 were not fanatical Nazis but ordinary middle-aged, working-class men who committed these atrocities out of a mixture of motives, including the group dynamics of conformity, deference to authority, role adaptation, and the altering of moral norms to justify their actions. Very quickly three groups emerged within the battalion: a core of eager killers, a plurality who carried out their duties reliably but without initiative, and a small minority who evaded participation in the acts of killing without diminishing the murderous efficiency of the battalion whatsoever. While the book discusses a specific reserve unit during World War II, the general argument Browning makes is that most people are susceptible to the pressure of a group setting and committing actions they would never do of their own volition. Ordinary Men is a powerful, chilling, and important work with themes and arguments that continue to resonate today.
From the front Cover Ordinary Men is the true story of Reserve Police Battalion 101 of the German Order Police, which was responsible for mass shootings as well as roundups of Jewish people for deportation to Nazi death camps in Poland in 1942. Browning argues that most of the men of RPB 101 were not fanatical Nazis but ordinary middle-aged, working-class men who committed these atrocities out of a mixture of motives, including the group dynamics of conformity, deference to authority, role adaptation, and the altering of moral norms to justify their actions. Very quickly three groups emerged within the battalion: a core of eager killers, a plurality who carried out their duties reliably but without initiative, and a small minority who evaded participation in the acts of killing without diminishing the murderous efficiency of the battalion whatsoever. While the book discusses a specific reserve unit during World War II, the general argument Browning makes is that most people are susceptible to the pressure of a group setting and committing actions they would never do of their own volition. Ordinary Men is a powerful, chilling, and important work with themes and arguments that continue to resonate today. -- Kirkus Reviews

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