Essay about Ordinary Men

1129 Words Oct 22nd, 2008 5 Pages
"There are no extraordinary men... just extraordinary circumstances that ordinary men are faced to deal with" (William Halsey). The same can be said about volatile men. This is the quote Christopher R. Browning thought of when he named this book. The men of the 101st battalion were rarely faced with decisions. Even if it had been proposed by Trapp the morning of Jozefow that "any of the older men who did not feel up to the task that lay before them could step out" (Browning, chapter 7, pg. 57), he didn't actually allow them any time to truly think about it. He brought it up moments before they were about to go out to the slaughter. They were blind-sided and the men who didn't want to risk the future of their jobs as policemen or the men …show more content…
Another man reasoned that if one man was shooting the mother, it was fine to shoot the child because he couldn't live without his mother anyway (Browning, chapter 9, pg 73). These justifications eased the men's souls. But what they really did was help them to adapt. By creating their own little rules about what was all right to do, they were able to cope. So sometimes in order to adapt to the rules adequately, they had to make up the rules for themselves to go by. But these self-made rules ended up allowing them to do more heinous things as time went on. The ruling on deportation was very obvious for the 101st battalion. It was "out of sight truly was out of mind" (Browning, chapter 10, pg 90). This little ruling they silently made actually ended up taking the lives of "more victims... Jozefow and Lomazy massacres combined" (Browning, chapter 10, pg 90). They had already been burdened by having to murder these men face to face. After doing that, it was much easier to send them away for someone else to do. They wouldn't have to bear the bloody sight of another life taken. And knowing where the Jews were to be taken, it took another load off their back if they ever had to shoot any of them. In the Miedzyrzec deportation, the Jews were "driven with an almost unimaginable ferocity" (Browning, chapter 10, pg 95). Knowing the Jews lives were going to be taken made it

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