- May 22, 2020
The Inhumane Nature of the Nazi Soldiers in Ordinary Men
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TheInhumane Nature of the Nazi Soldiers in Ordinary Men
Christopher Browning’s book titled Ordinary Men tries toillustrate the mentality of the Nazi soldiers that participated inthe killing of the Jews. More specifically, the book talks about theBattalion 101 that engaged in most of the deaths and torturingsessions. He uses the documents that captured their interviews toreveal the issues that influenced them to commit the crimes. Thisessay looks at the way Browning book proves that the Battalion 101and the German forces engaged in mass killings since they werepersuaded that Jews were less human and some of them even wanted tofeel like part of the comrades-in-arms.
The book also reveals that the members of the Battalion 101 werepreviously professionals and they did not belong to the Nazi Party,but, Hitler was able to transform them psychologically and made themmurder around 83,000 Jews. The heartless members of the Battalion didnot show any signs of compassions as they committed the crimes. Forinstance, Browning insists that “by age, geographical origin, andsocial background, the men of Reserve Police Battalion 101 were leastlikely to be considered apt material out of which to mold future masskillers” (Browning, 164). The statement proves that the men wereordinary people, and not one could have ever imagined that they couldhave engaged in such inhumane activities. However, Hitler used theirfrustrations after the First World War and their struggles tostabilize their nation as a way of making them more heartless. In theprocess, when he told them that the Jews were less human and they hadto kill them, they could not hesitate. Hence, the psychologicaltransformation was the key issue, and Hitler used that in persuadingthe militants into torturing and killing thousands of the Jews.
Browning argues that the desk murderers in the Berlin are the ones toblame since they planted the hatred in the minds of the Germansoldiers. More specifically, Brown focuses on the army and ignoresthe planners such as Eichmanns, Hitler, and Himmler. Instead, heevaluates the reasons that persuaded the soldiers to participate inthe killing and how they felt about the entire scenario. In thiscase, he reveals that endless propagandas that Hitler and hiscounterparts initiated persuaded every German to hate the Jews. Inthe process, everyone wanted the Jews to move out of German, and itreached a point where they wanted to wipe out their entire race. Afew Germans that were a bit hesitant had to accept the ideologieswith the fear of being seen as a traitor. For instance, the bookreveals how Major Trapp insisted that “man, .. . such jobs don`t suit me. But orders are orders” (Browning, 58).In fact, turning back was not an option, and he had to pledge hisloyalty to the militia and focus on making it stronger instead. Thescenario shows that the propaganda and the sense of unity andnationalism were critical in making sure that the Battalion 101achieved its objectives as well.
In conclusion, Hitler persuaded the soldiers and made them believethat the Jews were less human thereby blinding them from reality andmaking them kill thousands of them. In particular, the interviewswith the members of the Battalion 101 reveal that they had undergonea psychological transformation that blinded them from reality. Infact, a large part of the soldiers were not members of the NaziParty but, normal people that were less likely to engage in suchcriminal activities instead.
Browning,Christopher R. Ordinary men. New York: Harper Collins, 1993.