Justin's Reviews > Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland

Ordinary Men by Christopher R. Browning
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's review
Feb 08, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: historybooks

As his title suggest, Christopher Browning's book is an exploration of the ordinary men involved in the Holocaust. Examining the actions of Reserve Police Battalion 101, a police unit stationed in Poland and Eastern Europe during World War 2, a unit responsible for the deaths of an estimated 80,000 men, women, and children. Rather than focusing on the party leaders and the masterminds of the Final Solution, Browning looks at the men of the battalion, reconstructing their actions from testimony given to German police following the war and the denazification of Germany. Relying heavily on the experiments of Phillip Zimbardo and Stanley Milgram, who both explored the limits of obedience in your average citizen, Browning concludes that the men who carried out the Final Solution were not sociopathic monsters, but were regular men who, for a number of reasons, gave up their humanity and willing murdered their fellow man. Seeking to explain rather than excuse, Browning's book is a chilling example of the cruelty and inhumanity of man.
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