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Holocaust

5

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

climates” (1996).

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

environment” (1996)

Browning (1992) interprets the composition of the battalion in a different way.

For him, the members of the battalion, eager to overcome their economic status and

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