Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland by Christopher R. Browning - 271 pages
Hitler's Furies by Wendy Lower I planned to go back and reread Ordinary Men. This classic of Holocaust literature was the first book that attempted to explain the action of the men who committed the crimes without focusing on the fact the men were following orders. Police Battalion 101 serves as the basis of this study because when the unit was tried for war crimes in the 1960s all surviving members were subjected to a detailed interrogation. It points out that the men committed the crimes despite being offered a way out of doing so.
I know I started my summary with the overarching themes and observations. Let me backtrack and explain a bit about the unit's actions. Police Battalion 101 was one of many behind-the-lines units charged with carrying out ghetto evacuations and mass killings to make Eastern Europe Judenfrei, or free of Jewish people. Attention was paid to the mass killings, especially the unit's first at Józefów, Poland, as it set the tone for the rest of the unit's term of service and provided the best evidence for the men's actions.