The Ordinary Men of the Holocaust

Decent Essays
The average person’s understanding of the Holocaust is the persecution and mass murder of Jews by the Nazi’s, most are unaware that the people behind the atrocities of the Holocaust came from all over Europe and a wide variety of backgrounds. Art Spiegelman’s Maus: a Survivor’s Tale, Christopher Browning’s Ordinary Men: Reserve Battalion 101 and the Final Solution, and Jan Gross’s Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedbwabne, Poland, all provides a different perspective on how ordinary people felt about their experiences in the Holocaust both perpetrators and victims.
Art Spiegelman’s Maus: a Survivor’s Tale is particularly unique in that it is a graphic novel, not typically a genre used for writing about the horrors
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The Jews were the enemy, and many men justified this by dehumanizing the Jews and distancing themselves psychologically which enabled the continued killing.
Each of these novels takes on a different perspective of the Holocaust. The common theme among each is that it was ordinary human beings who did extraordinary things during the Holocaust. The average perception is that the perpetrators of the Holocaust were inherently evil, monstrous and immoral people, they must have been to commit such heinous acts? This is not the case. It was ordinary Europeans who for varying reasons including, wartime brutalization and lack of a collective identity carried out much of the Nazi’s Final Solution.

Art Spiegelman. Maus: a Survivor 'sTale. New York: Pantheon Books, 1986.
Christopher R. Browning. Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland. New York: Harper Collins, 1992.
Jan T. Gross. Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2001.

[ 1 ]. Art Spiegelman, Maus: a Survivor 'sTale, (New York: Pantheon Books, 1986) 66.
[ 2 ]. Approximatly 1500 Jedwabne Jews were rounded up and killed on July 10.1941. They were rounded up and into a barn which was set on fire. Only 12 Jews survived. Jan T. Gross, Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish
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