Every once in a while a book comes along that changes the way we think about major issues. More than 25 years ago, the publication of Christopher Browning’s Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland did just that. Meticulously researched and eloquently argued, Ordinary Men asserted that the men who helped commit genocide during World War II were neither fanatical ideologues nor bloodthirsty beasts but simply ordinary men operating within the context of a vicious race war. These findings which draw on insights from social psychology transcend the merely historical and carry disturbing implications for human beings everywhere. In this talk Browning revisits his path-breaking book and discusses the evolution of perpetrator studies up to the present. Professor emeritus at UNC Chapel Hill and an internationally recognized authority on Nazi policy and decision-making, Browning is the author of major studies including Nazi policy, Jewish workers, German killers (Cambridge University Press, 2000): Collected memories : Holocaust History and Postwar Testimony (University of Wisconsin Press, 2003); The Origins of the Final Solution : The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939 – March 1942 (University of Nebraska Press, 2004); and Remembering Survival: Inside a Nazi Slave-Labor Camp ( W.W. Norton & Co., 2010), winner of the Yad Vashem International Book Prize for Holocaust Research.
Sponsor: Holocaust Living History Workshop (UC San Diego Library and Jewish Studies)