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Ordinary Men

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 08:08 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 41.7 
  • Words: 675
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Browning Ordinary Men by Christopher Browning accounts for the actions of the German Reserve Police Battalion 101 in Poland) and the role they played in the WWII during the Jewish Holocaust. Police Battalion 101 was composed of veterans from World War One and men too old to be drafted into the regular forces: army, navy, air force. Browning himself is uncertain of the accuracy of information that he provides because he based his study on personal evidence recorded in postwar legal investigations.

          This also offers a biographical profile of a German unit that consisted of approximately 500 men who in the sixteen months starting in July of 1942 participated in the slaughter of more than 80,000 Jewish people. Between 1942 and 1943 the balance sheet of the number of Jews deported from their homes was estimated at a minimum of 45,000 men women and children as well as an estimated minimum of 38,000 Jews shot and killed between July 1942 and November 1943. Browning\'s book is very well written and researched to a comprehensive point. His objective seems to be a focus on the activities of German Police Battalion 101; however this is not the case. Early into the book he seems to go too much into detail about the activities of other police units and it isn\'t clear if they are attached to Battalion 101 or if they are simply separate police units used as examples to describe the actions that Battalion 101 would be engaging in that they failed to mention during the war crime inquiries.

          Browning does admit at the end of his book that peer pressure played a great role in the shootings, that the men in Battalion 101 killed the Jews because of a combination of peer pressure and orders from superior officers. Walter Reich\'s review in the New York Times Book Review of April 12th 1992 touches more on the aspect of the state of mind of these men who had been given the task of executing the Jewish community in Poland; we know a lot...


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