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Ordinary Men – Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland Book Review

A compelling historical novel, Ordinary Men traces the history of a German Reserve police unit in the Second World War. Using an example from the Polish War, Browning makes a general argument about how group pressures can lead individuals to act in ways they would never do alone. As a result, the book is a powerful work with important themes and arguments that continue to resonate today.

The story of this extraordinary group of men is told through the testimonies of more than 200 former members of the Reserve Police Battalion. The reserve police Battalion 101 was comprised mainly of working class men, who had no experience with the military and the Nazi ideology. The reserve police battalions contributed manpower to the Holocaust, as well as the Polish army.

In 1942, the Reserve Police Battalion 101 was sent to Poland on a secret mission for “special action”. Its members were never informed about the purpose of their mission, and this led them to become one of the most crucial actors in the Final Solution of the Jewish Question in Europe. The authors of Ordinary Men- Reserve Police Battalion 100 and the Final Solution in the Republic of Germany