I just finished reading Ordinary Men by Chris Browning. I added to my reading
list several years ago because of a Jordan Peterson lecture, but it took me some time to get to it.
The book covers the actions of SS reserve battalion 101 during WWII. The reserve battalions were made up mostly of middle age men from a wide range of backgrounds (waiters, dock workers, dentists, business owners, etc.). It was incredible to see that with almost no preparation or training just 500 men managed to kill the equivalent of nearly 1.5x the capacity of Lavell Edwards Stadium. Most of the murders were up close and personal. On the very first day of killing men in the batalion were given the option to opt out if they didn't feel up to participating. Less than 10 took that opportunity. The rest went into Józefów and marched 1,500 people into the woods in small groups to shot men, women, and children throughout the course of an entire day. They all had their reasons for not opting out, but I do believe most went along due to implicit peer pressure.
Its absolutely frightening what we're each capable of with even minimal peer pressure. I know I made my share of dumb choices under peer pressure. I couldn't help but think about my kids as they grow up and the pressure's they'll face. Hopefully none ever as grim as mass murder, but there are plenty of harmful ways a person can permanently damage their souls. My kids are too young to really feel peer pressure right now, but I'm a lot less confident today in their ability to resist.
Each of us is capable of terrible things under the right conditions.
This message has been modified
Originally posted on Jan 12, 2021 at 9:02:23am
Message modified by MormonThug on Jan 12, 2021 at 9:03:57am