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Ordinary Men And Women Turned Killers? Education Essay (Essay Sample)

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EXAM #2 ESSAY QUESTION: ORDINARY MEN AND WOMEN, OR NATURAL BORN KILLERS?
When thinking about the the people who actually did the killing during the Holocaust, there is a tendency to regard them as monsters, sadists, psychotics, or natural-born killers. Yet in the three books that you are reading for this section of the course, there appear to be a variety of murderers who may not conform to the common stereotype of killers. In Ordinary Men, Christopher Browning argues that most of the perpetrators who did the actual killing during the Holocaust were not monsters or inherently evil; nor were they particularly anti-semitic.The perpetrators in Police Battalion 101 were “ordinary men” just following orders. In other words, murderous personalities and anti-semitism among these men were not necessary in order to commit genocide. Browning cites the Obedience and Stanford Prison experiments to support his position.
What about the murderers in Neighbors and Hitler’s Furies? To what extent were they “ordinary”? To what extent were the perpetrators in Jedwabne and the German women on the Eastern front similar to and different from the perpetrators in Ordinary Men? To what extent were they anti-semitic? To what extent were they just following orders? To what extent was there peer pressure? To what extent did they have choices? Did they act voluntarily or were they forced to kill? What other factors may have motivated the people in Jedwabne, the women on the Eastern front, and the men in Police Battalion 101 to kill? Use three specific individuals from each book to support your more general argument.
Finally, to what extent are the Obedience and Stanford Prison experiments useful in explaining what happened the people in Jedwabne, and the German women on the Eastern front, as well as in Police Battalion 101?

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ORDINARY MEN AND WOMEN TURNED KILLERS?
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ORDINARY MEN AND WOMEN TURNED KILLERS?
Christopher Browning and Wendy Lower, in the books Ordinary Men and Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields seeks to analyze the question, "Could ordinary men and women become murders?" First, we are presented with the story of the Holocaust through the eyes of members of the Reserve Police Battalion 101. In exacting detail, the author shows us that the members were ordinary working-to-middle classmen that later became mass murders. This begs the question, though: how did these men become mass murderers? Browning does an excellent job of explaining how racism and conformity during the war were the leading causes of the Holocaust. I will show how he brings those two things together, thus, giving us a plausible explanation of the Holocaust.

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