Browning paper

Browning paper - Ordinary Men By Christopher R Browning...

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Ordinary Men By: Christopher R. Browning History of the Holocaust Molly Ingeman 3500556 [email protected]
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Browning Pg. 1 Why did ordinary citizens participate in the the killings of so many innocent people? This is a question that is so hard to answer. Many believe these men were forced to kill against their will, but according to Christopher R. Browning, “Major Trapp offered at one time to excuse anyone from the task of killing who was not up to it.” These men gradually became more immune to the fact of killing. According to Browning, “the most significant single factor influencing any given policeman's decision to participate in acts of Nazi genocide, was that individual's personal willingness to obey the orders given to him as a soldier and as a German.” I believe the Germans saw killing as a game which was only won once every Jew was dead. The Holocaust is a term generally used to describe the killings of approximately six million Jews as part of the extermination planned and executed by the National Socialist regime led by Adolf Hitler. Holocaust means “completely burnt” which describes how the Jews were swept up and left the towns empty. The German attack on the Jews of Poland was a quick action that killed many over a short period of time. Ultimately, the Holocaust took place because at the most basic level individual human beings killed other human beings in large numbers over an extended period of time (Browning, xvii). The Jewish were not the only group of people affected by the Holocaust. Many mentally ill or disabled persons in institutions were killed they were seen as incapable of living a normal life. Also gay men fell victims to the Holocaust. Many were killed in concentration camps. The Gestapo, secret state police, raided gay bars, tracked individuals using the address books of those they arrested, used the subscription lists of gay magazines to find others, and encouraged people to report suspected homosexual behavior and to scrutinize the behavior of their neighbors (Wikipedia.org). They homosexuals were sent to camps for “rehabilitation” and were easily recognizable by yellow arm bands. This caused them to be easily detectable for sexual abuse. They were humiliated and tortured,
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Browning Pg. 2 many of which were castrated. I believe the killing of these individuals before the Jews almost prepared these men to become killers. They truly believed they were doing the right thing, which in todays time, is not allowed for any reason. How did they find men willing to kill for no reason? The Order Police, a branch of the German
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course HIST 3727W taught by Professor Feinstein during the Spring '08 term at Minnesota.

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Browning paper - Ordinary Men By Christopher R Browning...

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