Did the Holocaust Occur
Because of Evil Men?

    This paper was written in Spring of 2003 for a class on European History, which dealt with the Holocaust and the question of how it was able to occur. What was the driving force? Simple anti-semitism?

The paper was written after reading Christopher R. Browning's Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland. The book follows the actions of the well documented Reserve Police Battalion 101, which largely consisted of 500 average, middle-aged German men. These men, who had been drafted into the Order Police because they were considered too old for military service, were by 1943 responsible for a minimum of 83,200 Jewish deaths. The book analyzes the actions of the men in the Police Battalion in an attempt to determine how seemingly normal men became cold-blooded killers so easily. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in the Holocaust and the Psychology behind it.

This paper attempts to remain concise by mainly discussing ideas and thoeries that have been set forth within Browning's book. Some of the theories on human behavior found in Sigmund Freud's Civilization and Its Discontents are also brought in, in an attempt to see if they can be accurately applied to the actions of Police Battalion 101.

Length: 9 pages (including bibleography)  Written: Spring 2003

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Note: This paper is copyright 2003, Kevin Ickes. If this paper is used as a reference in another academic paper, I would really love to hear about it. I also enjoy suggestions/comments/constructive criticism. I can be reached here:

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