a case study to show “the men’s incessant volunteering to kill and, on the other, the
failure of the men to avail themselves of the opportunities to avoid killing.” According to
Goldhagen, most of the members of Battalion 101 were over the age of 30 and hence
mature enough to understand the implications of the killing and also harboring hatred for
the Jews because of the own tortuous economic experience back home. The soldiers are
described as “not the wide-eyed youngsters ready to believe what they were
told…..These were mature men who had life experience, who had families and children.
The overwhelming majority of them had reached adulthood before the Nazis ascended to
power. They had known other political dispensation, had lived in other ideological
Goldhagen (1996) studies the photographic evidence from the Battalion 101.
Many of the members took photographs of the killings they committed to keep as
souvenirs. The soldiers’ glee at the killing, which the photographs, are supposed to be
proof of, is taken as sufficient evidence of their involvement. Goldhagen describes the
“openness about their genocidal slaughtering-making it available to the view of
so many other German men and women who happened to be stationed in
Poland…. These Germans’ willingness to make an extensive photographic record
of their deeds, including their killing operations, in which they appear with
cheerful and proud demeanors as men entirely comfortable with their
Browning (1992) interprets the composition of the battalion in a different way.