In the book Ordinary Men I will be attempting to give my viewpoints on what the book conveys about the Holocaust in Poland and how the Nazis organized and carried out the destruction of Poland's Jewish population, and where they found the manpower necessary to carry out the murders. I felt that the author had based this book on the testimonies of the men of Reserve Police battalion 101, which was a unit of the German Order Police. .
The book, I thought, provided me a graphic portrayal of Police Battalion 101's involvement in the Holocaust. The major focus of the book is the reconstruction of the events this group of men participated in. A picture is painted very vividly of the brutality these men inflicted upon the Polish Jews. The story here reconstructs and summarizes these atrocities in Poland during the war, from shooting innocent men, women, and children to clearing out the ghettos of all Jews and forcing them to board the trains to the concentration camps. .
I agree with the author about how a group of "Ordinary Men" could become mass murderers. The story goes on the give us insight into the answer by investigating the background of these men. .
What I have learned is that these men were mostly middle aged, working class men with little or no advanced schooling. They were old enough to have grown up before the rise of Fascism, and knew perfectly well the morality of German society before the Nazi rise to power. Few of these men received any type of special training. I thought that for those men who didn't kill risked isolation, rejection, and ostracism. .
I felt a little disappointed by the fact that very little was discussed about the interaction between members of Reserve Police Battalion 101. I also discovered that in the beginning part of the book there seems to be too much detail about the activities of other police units and it isn't clear if they are attached to Battalion 101 or if they are separate police units used as examples to describe the actions that Battalion 101 would be engaging in.