Reserve Police Battalion 101 Essay

1089 WordsFeb 27, 20135 Pages
Motivations of the Mass Murders Throughout Hitler’s reign over Germany there was an agenda that existed which led to murders of a great number of innocent people. The agenda was the extermination of Jews from Germany so that Germany could become a pure country in terms of ethnicity. It was Hitler’s idea but he only gave the orders while the SS and the Order Police carried out the orders. One group of people that helped carry out this idea of judenfrei or Jew free Germany was the Reserve Police Battalion 101. The men who made up this group were regular men that had come from a variety of careers. Most the men volunteered because the immunity that they would receive from “conscription into the army” once the volunteers had become part of…show more content…
Browning, in his book Ordinary men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the final solution in Poland, most of the interviewees seem to have a mindset that the killings were wrong but they needed to follow orders. Their attitude was that it was necessary to carry out the orders even though the orders may not have seemed morally or ethically right. The reason the battalion obeyed the orders is because it came from the authorities who had instilled the fear of repercussions in the Reserves and took advantage of the men’s obedience to authority. A quote from Trapp sums up the mindset perfectly when he said, “man… such jobs don’t suit me but orders are orders.” If not out of obedience then what else motivated the men to carry out the orders which led to them becoming mass murderers? Conformity was another motivation for the men of Battalion 101 to commit the mass murders. Before the first mission General Trapp gave the men the option to step forward if they didn’t want to partake in the killings. However, at first only one man stepped forward and then “some ten or twelve men” quickly followed him. When given the option why did so few men step forward and refuse to kill unarmed people? The reason is that the men had “the strong urge not to separate themselves from the group” because they were scared of how their comrades would have viewed them had they stepped forward. Stepping forward was seen as “leaving one’s comrades and admitting that one was
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