Christopher Browning's book Ordinary Men and Art Spieglman's Maus take two completely different approaches in the understanding of the Holocaust of World War II.
Although the two stories are both different, each approach is effective in helping the audience to better comprehend the Holocaust. Both novels should be read to understand the scope of what happened in the Holocaust. Browning's writing style in Ordinary Men can be closely compared with that of a history textbook. This is due in part to the fact that Browning is a historian writing on extensive research he has collected. Art Spieglman's Maus is a narrative telling a story of a survivor. In contrast, Spieglman is not trying to teach a history lesson. .
Ordinary Men illustrates the point of how ordinary men can turn into killing Nazis. His book is essential to understand how the Holocaust was carried out. Most textbooks do not describe how Germans became Nazi's. Browning collected research from testimonies of Nazis after the war. Ordinary Men principally follows the Police Battalion 101. This battalion is a good example of ordinary working class, family men of Germany chosen to carry out several essential duties in the final solution. Browning successfully gives faces and personalities to the Nazis who have been generalized as monsters. He does however not try to take away from the fact that they were murderers. One example of emotion displayed by the Nazis in Ordinary Men is the first order the Battalion had to carry out. The Battalion was woken up early one morning in their bunks. Once assembled their commander slowly proceeded to tell the men of their order;.
"Pale and nervous with choking voice and tears in his eyes, Trapp visibly fought to control himself as he spoke. The battalion, he said plaintively, had to perform a frightfully unpleasant task. This assignment was not to his liking, indeed it was highly regrettable, but the orders came from the highest authorities.