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The atrocities of the Holocaust have prompted much inquiry by researchers to understand how humans can behave so cruelly toward their fellow man Theories have been formed that cite the men of Battalion 101 as exceptions or men with faulty personalities when in fact they were ordinary men The people who attempted to perform a genocide were the same people as you and me with the only difference being the environment in which they worked The behavior of the men in Battalion 101 was not abnormal human behavior rather their actions are testament to the premise that when humans are exposed to certain environmental and psychological conditions extreme brutality is highly apt to occur The members of the Police Battalion 101 had the same ideas and influences as the rest of the German citizens Because of the racist teachings produced by the German government the entire German society was uniform under the belief that they were the master race The German were taught that anyone different from their own kind white Anglo-Saxon Protestant needed to be removed from their society in order for it to prosper The Police Battalion men shared the same beliefs as everyone else but they had to perform the dirty work of killing approximately 83000 Jews Christopher Browning states in his book Ordinary Men that the men of Reserve Police Battalion 101 like most of the German society was immersed in a deluge of racist and anti-Semitic propaganda Browning 184 Unless placed in the Battalion mens situation one can not fathom how a population of people can so evilly turn against another People in every culture are susceptible to the ideas and beliefs brought upon them by propaganda Whenever an idea is accepted as the norm people will find a way to justify it and follow it despite the evil implications it might entail Humans have faced these situations throughout the last two centuries numerous
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