ordinary men writeup

ordinary men writeup - would die anyway (to be killed by...

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Write-up on Ordinary Men by Christopher Browning, p.49-77 This is a secondary source. The first two chapters are mostly descriptions of Jews being rounded up, deported, or killed on spot. Then, in the last chapter from this section, Browning makes several observations. He comes up with some reasons why few men (about 10-20percent) would step down from shooting the Jews: the (initial) lack of time to reflect on and respond to the announcement of the murderous task, the acceptance of the “assimilation of the Jews into the image of the enemy”, and the “pressure for conformity” – these men didn’t want to lose face and appear cowardly in front of their comrades. In addition, to convince themselves of the legitimacy of the killing, some men used the rationale that even if they didn’t kill the Jews, the Jews
Background image of page 1
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: would die anyway (to be killed by other men, or, in the case of children, die because of the absences of their mothers). The major problem the battalion faced, as Browning points out, was not the ethically and politically grounded opposition of a few but the broad demoralization. Even those who did not choose to step down at any time still felt resentment and bitterness. The subsequent actions were better devised and removed this flaw: the bulk of the killing was moved to the extermination camp instead, and the on-spot killing was left for the Trawnikis to carry out. This way, the men of the Reserve Police Battalion 101 had the chance to get used to participating in the genocidal program, and when the time came to actually kill, they became increasingly efficient and calloused executioners....
View Full Document

This note was uploaded on 12/26/2009 for the course JS 211g at USC.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online