Ordinary Men by Christopher Browning

Decent Essays
The purpose of history is to understand the past so that we can take wisdom from those experiences and improve the present and the future. The events that occurred during the Final Solution are so horrendous that often it is viewed as so repugnant that we label the people involved as purely evil, they are dehumanized. This is dangerous, as it doesn’t allow us to obtain wisdom, perspective, and empathy for those involved. Ordinary Men allows an opportunity to see these events from the eyes of the perpetrators and their journey that led to what seems to people today as ruthless, unscrupulous murder. When in fact these people were literally ordinary men who were introduced to unordinary circumstances which caused them to abandon their humanity. If we discredit these people as inhuman we fail to learn the lessons of human nature so we can avoid them in the future. Winston Churchill embodies the lessons learned from Ordinary Men as he said “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” The massacre in Jozefow was first to introduce the men of Battalion 101 to mass murder. The orders were that males of working age were to be sent Lublin to serve as work Jews, while the women, children and the elderly were to be exterminated by gunshot immediately. Major Wilhelm Trapp, the battle commander, found these orders repulsive and one of his officers having learned about the upcoming massacre asked to be reassigned to avoid the impending violence; his request was
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