Battalion 101 Analysis

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Browning's arguments about us as human beings capture three main ideas, that show why battalion 101 and other battalions were able to kill so many innocent people. Humans are social beings that feel the need to categorize and stereotype. Humans are naturally bystanders. The most common human instinct is to not help someone if it does not benefit themselves. Humans are blindly obedient, humans also feel the need to follow and take orders. This explains how many regular people became murderers during the holocaust.
One of Browning's arguments includes the notion of stereotyping and creating groups. The Nazis created these groups to enforce the idea that Jews are in the “out” group. Browning states that most of the soldiers in battalion 101
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Blind obedience seems to be his explanation for the murdering of the innocent people. Browning mentions that most of the men, even years later say they did not have a choice. That the orders were coming from above. This is an example of blind obedience. When an authority figure higher than yourself gives you an order, and you follow it without thinking twice. Though these men claim they did not have a choice, it should have been clear to them that they did. If they would have questioned authority, they might not have contributed to murdering innocent people. Most of the men in battalion 101 blindly followed an authority figure. To prove this idea further, An experiment was conducted to see how far this blindness to obedience would go. The Milgram Experiment was originally done by Stanley Milgram in 1963. The experiment was setup to test the conflict between our conscience and our obedience to an authority figure. The ad said 50 dollars if you come in to help with an experiment that would help the scientist better understand memory. There would be a person administering a memory test, the teacher, and in another room there would be an actor taking the test, the learner. When a question was answered wrong the person administering the test would have to shock the actor taking the test, and with each wrong answer the shock becomes more severe. The catch is the actor was never being shocked, but the people doing the shocking didn't know that. Also, with the shocks increasing the actor would be yelling phrases like “let me out’ and “i'm in a lot of pain”. The findings of how far people would go were surprising. When the teacher’s moral conflict started to show, the scientist administering the test would say “please continue”, “the experiment requires you to continue”, “It is absolutely essential that you continue, and even “you have no other choice but to continue”. 65