A brilliant and valuable contribution to holocaust studies. The story of the ordinary men who committed the most horrible atrocities possible under direction of the Nazis.
The author's approach to documenting the horrors of Reserve Police Battalion 101 is as thorough as the Battalion's actions were repugnant. This book serves as an important reminder of the kind of misdeeds, crimes, and atrocities of which humans are capable and which were committed in carrying out Hitler's Final Solution. Not for the faint of heart, yet well-structured and concise in its presentation.
Millions of Jews were victims of the the Holocaust, and this book reminds us that the vast majority of those who implemented the Nazi's murderous ideology were not high-ranking Nazi party members, but ordinary men. This book is nothing short of horrifying, to say the very least.
I gave this book 5 stars and totally because it is the only book I have read (and I have read A LOT of WWII history) that really covers the occupation of Poland and gets down to the gritty details. Most people, even those with more knowledge of WWII, really don't grasp the scale or the brutality of the NAZIs and their allies. This book goes a way to explaining how policemen, from a democratic, modern society, can turn into cold blooded killers. How 500 people, most middle aged, participated in the murder of over 83,000 people in a short period of time. Very few of whom were ever punished btw.
Ok so this is not a "novel" kinda of book. It is a text book. The book doesn't flow well, it's very choppy. I had a difficult time following along with all the statistics, dates, German cities and the battalion numbers. There were parts of the book that were story-like and easier to read which is why I gave it 2 stars instead of 1. The writing also was bad, almost as if they are missing commas and periods.
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