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"If the international financiers in and outside Europe
should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a
world war, then the result will not be the Bolshevizing of
the earth, and thus the victory of Jewry, but the
annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe." - Adolf
Hitler- Jan 30, 1939 When the Nazi party came to power in
January of 1933, it almost immediately began to take
hostile measures toward the Jewish people. The government
passed special legislation that excluded Jews from the
protection of German law. The property of Jews was then
legally seized, and concentration camps were set up in
which Jews were executed, tortured, or condemned to slave
labor. The Nazis organized sporadic and local massacres
which occurred in a nationwide program in 1938. After the
outbreak of World War II anti-Semitic activity increased
dramatically. By the end of the war, millions of Jews and
others targeted by the Nazis, had been killed in the
Holocaust. The Jewish dead numbered more than 5 million:
about 3 million in killing centers and other camps, 1.4
million in shooting operations, and more than 600,000 in
Polish ghettos. Who were the men that carried out these
terrible murders? One would think them to be savage killers
specially selected for their history of brutality and
violence. But, in fact, these men were typically normal
middle-aged business men. How could these ordinary men be
influenced in such a way to allow them to commit such
atrocities? The governmental policies, pressures of
comrades and individual behaviors helped to transform these
men into the mass murderers of European Jews that they soon
became. The government and the military were very
important to the transformation of these men. The men of
the battalions were often told how the German race was the
greatest on earth. Their commanding officers continually
reminded them that as Germans they had to be strong and
ruthless. They were told to project an image of superiority
and not to show any mercy on the inferior Jewish race.
Anti-Semitism was practiced throughout the government and
military. One policy the government continually reinforced
was that that the Jews were not even humans. The Jews were
often referred to as "wild animals" and given no respect.
Some commanders of the Order Police encouraged shooting
blindly into the ghettos to try to shoot down Jews for
sport. Company recreation rooms were commonly decorated
with racist slogans and victory celebrations were often
held when large numbers of Jews were killed. The military
units held weekly "class" in which they taught "ideological
propaganda" that would use literature such as pamphlets
entitled "SS Man and The Question of Blood" and "The
Politics of Race." These classes furthered the idea that
the Jews were nothing but a troublesome inferior race. They
were taught how to kill their victims so that they would
die quickly and suffer little. The government also issued
such laws as the Barbarossa decree which gave the order
police a varitable "shooting license" against the Russians.
The Order police were told that they were in a war against
the Jews and the Bolsheviks and they "should proceed
ruthlessly against the Jews." The Order police "should be
proud to be participating in the defeat of the world enemy,
Bolshevism. The soldiers were continually reminded of how
the women and children in Germany were being bombed and how
the Jews instigated the American boycott which was
destroying Germany's economy. If the soldiers were
searching career advancement in the Police force. If this
was the case, "orders are orders", and the soldier would
comply with the orders of their superiors. Through these
ideas presented by the institutions of government and
military the Order Police became a strong killing machine.
 The comrades of an individual soldier had a profound
influence on the transformation from normal citizen to
murderer. Although this influence may have been
unintentional it was still a major factor. Peer pressure's
a bitch. The pressure to conform to the job at hand was
great in these small tightly knit battalions. By not
shooting, an individual would not be doing his part in an
already unpleasant task. Stepping out would make the rest
of the battalion believe that the soldier thought himself
to be "too good" for such tasks. The mission had to be
accomplished with or without him. Policemen who did not
shoot were often isolated, rejected and ostracized by their
comrades. The policemen had nowhere else to turn for mental
support and societal contact besides his comrades. He would
not want to jeopardize this over the simple matter of
killing mere "wild animals." Another way the men in the
battalions were able to kill the Jews was that they were
supplied with rations of alcohol. They were drunk for many
of the killings. One of the soldiers was quoted as saying
"Most of the other comrades drank so much solely because of
the many shootings of the Jews, for such a life was quite
intolerable sober." The individuals personal
justifications helped to change the behavior of the
soldiers. Many of the soldiers tried to prove to themselves
that what they were doing was right. They justified their
actions with such comments as "They are destroying
Germany." It soon became policy for the policemen to kill
the Jews. It was a daily ritual for the Police to slaughter
thousands of Jews everyday. They genuinely thought that
they were helping the world by relieving it of the waste of
society, the Jews. By the end of the war the soldiers of
the Order Police had become mass killers of the European
Jews. The Order Police had effectively dehumanized the Jews
and for many of the soldiers murder was daily practice. In
fact, some of the soldiers came to enjoy it. They would try
and come up with any excuse to beat or shoot a Jew. Some of
the soldiers would set their watches ahead so as to beat
Jews out after the curfew. They would also rip the Star of
David off the Jews clothing and then beat the Jew for not
wearing it. The killing of jews became so routine that it
was oftenly refered to as "Our Daily Bread" by some of the
more "eager killers." The Government and military,
comrades and personal justifications placed upon the Order
Police of World War Two turned them into the largest mass
murders of all time. In total approximatly six million jews
were masacured by these so-called "ordinary men."


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