Christopher Browning's Ordinary Men

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Christopher R. Browning’s book titled “Ordinary Men” puts forward the thesis that the Holocaust had caused normal people to commit barbaric acts of violence against their will, resulting in the 20th century’s largest genocide. Browning discusses the activities of the Reserve Police Battalion 101 in Jozefow. He analyses the situation using psychological characteristics such as conformity by referring to psychological studies such as Milgram’s Obedience Study and Zimbardo’s Prison Study. Browning supports the thesis in the three following ways: 1. The refusal of a minority of members to participate in the massacres. 2. The negative reaction of the men towards the ghastly events that occurred. 3. The intentions of the men who committed acts of killing over the course of the genocide. Browning’s thesis of regular humans being forced to carry out violent acts of killing is supported by the behavior of the men involved in the horrific event. He emphasizes their behavior in terms of…show more content…
Klee et al.’s literature based on Felix Landau provides evidence for the thesis. For instance, Klee et al. provides evidence that Landau and his fellow comrades were involved in the genocides against their will by stating that their refusal to follow through with orders meant that they would be severely punished. Similarly, Browning addresses the fact that the men were forcibly carrying out orders as he writes about how those who did not shoot were at risk of being treated as an outcast and mocked. Furthermore, Landau and his comrades used social evenings to console themselves after experiencing the horrifying acts of violence. The men would get drunk to get rid of

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