Horors in Ordinary Men by Christopher Browning
“In the book Ordinary Men written by Christopher R. Browning gives the reader a full story about a specific unit called the Reserve Police Battalion 101 which was responsible for rounding up Jewish people for deportation to the Nazi death camps in Poland in 1942, and they are also responsible for mass shootings. The main argument that Browning enlightens his reader with is that most men from the Reserve Police Battalion 101 were ordinary men and not Fanatical Nazis. Men that were “middle aged, working-class men who committed these atrocities out of a mixture of motive, including the group dynamics of conformity, deference to authority, role adaptation, and the altering of moral norms to justify their actions”. Personally, I see that the general, and simple argument that Browning explains in his book is that the majority of people in a social group are susceptible to being pressured from their group to commit actions that they wouldn’t do if it were just them alone.
Browning does a great job arguing his position by provide many examples for instance There were several different social factors that caused the men of Reserve Police Battalion 101 to become killers and commit atrocities. For one, race war was occurring at the same time physical war was, making it easier to view Jews and other minorities as “”the enemy.”” Also, every society, including Hamburg society, teaches its members to respect and obey authority. As a policeman, there was a sense of duty to uphold. Finally, given the weight of peer pressure and the unity of a close-knit battalion, it was just easier to shoot than it was to step away from the rank.
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He examines various sources that are well organized, including obedience to authority, conformity to one’s comrades, anti-Semitic propaganda, and the psychological relief of killing at a distance. He emphasis that a complex combination of factors allowed and encouraged the men to complete their tasks, offering the disturbing observation that such violence is not the product of exceptional, evil sadists but of ordinary people. The overall strengths of the book Ordinary Men are the explanations of the horrors, and atrocities of what ordinary men of the RPB 101were pressurizes to do to the Jewish population in Poland during world war II.”