Ordinary Men and Women, Or Natural Born Killers?


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.

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?

This essay counts for 100% of Exam #2 and 30% of your final grade. It
can be 10-15 pages in length, typed and double-spaced please. It may
also be shorter or longer as you feel necessary. This essay is complex,
so give yourself enough time to read the books and think about your
answers. Your paper will be graded on quality of argument, and use of
evidence, not length. See the instructions on ?How to Earn a Good Grade
on Your Essays? in the course syllabus and the handout, ?Writing Errors
to Avoid?, on the course site on Canvas. This paper is due on April 9th
in class.

Material Needed: Books

– Ordinary Men

-Neighbors and Hitler’s Furies

Need examples from the books

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