Ordinary Men by Christopher R. BrowningOrdinary Men by Christopher R. Browning

Ordinary Men

byChristopher R. Browning

Paperback | April 24, 1998

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The shocking account of how a unit of average middle-aged Germans became the cold-blooded murderers of tens of thousands of Jews.
Christopher R. Browning is professor of history at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. He is a contributor to Yad Vashem's official twenty-four-volume history of the Holocaust and the author of two earlier books on the subject.
Title:Ordinary MenFormat:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.68 inPublished:April 24, 1998Publisher:HarperCollins

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0060995068

ISBN - 13:9780060995065


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Liked it Excellent study into how the average or normal person can be conditioned to become a killing machine and perpetrator of horrific crimes against humanity.
Date published: 2017-06-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing Read. Off the bat, this is a well written, highly detailed account of the 101 Reserve Police Battalion that was ordered to execute Jews as part of Himmler's Final Solution in Poland. Many of these people were ordinary men, rounded up because of a low supply of military personnel. The best and worst thing about this book is represented by the book's highly detailed and highly graphical content. There are personal accounts of what these men felt and reported as they were shooting individuals, how some avoided the shooting and their strategies for doing so, and some who, simply put, broke down psychologically. It can also be seen that some individuals became saddistic killers, whereas before being a part of this battalion, they were regular men, that had nothing against Jews. It's a challenging read. You feel the pain of the executed, but you feel the hardships of the executioners. Once you finish the book, you'll be happy you're finally done with it. Yet at the same time, you'll be glad you did, for it'll teach you a lot.
Date published: 2009-04-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Ever wonder how people can conform to evil? This book answers that very question. Holocaust historian Christopher R. Browning has painted a portrait consisting of not only Police Battalion 101 -- a topic very rarely broached upon by other scholars -- but of human nature and what could happen if circumstances were to arise as it did for the 500 or so men in this police battalion. Tracing their origins from the killers' own testimonies, Browning examines this nightmare in history. By doing so, he sheds light on a significant aspect of the Holocaust that is only now starting to emerge from the ashes of World War II and also the duality of human nature. The men of Police Battalion 101 were 'ordinary' in that they came from Hamburg, Germany, and had no previous experience whatsoever with Nazism. Yet, when given the chance, they conformed to a system of genocide, and by doing so they were responsible for the deaths of over 80,000 Jews and Poles over the span of a year and a half. Read this book, and you will learn history -- and a little bit more about the complex puzzle that we call 'humanity.'
Date published: 1999-06-23

From Our Editors

Widely reviewed and read in hardcover, this is the shocking account of how a unit of average middle-aged Germans became the cold-blooded murderers of tens of thousands of Jews. "Browning tells us about such Germans and helps us understand . . . how they were transformed psychologically . . . into active participants in the most monstrous crime in human history".--New York Times Book Review, front page. 8 pages of photos; 2 maps

Editorial Reviews

"A remarkable--and singularly chilling--glimpse of human behavior...This meticulously researched book...represents a major contribution to the literature of the Holocaust." (Andrew Nagorski, Newsweek)