Ordinary Men Analysis
The men of Reserve Police Battalion 101 were just ordinary men, from a variety of backgrounds, education, and age. It would appear that they were not selected by any force other than random chance. Their backgrounds and upbringing, however, did little to prepare these men for the horrors they were to witness and participate in.
The group was made up of both citizens and career policemen. Major Wilhelm Trapp, a career policeman and World War I veteran headed the battalion. Trapp joined the Nazi party in 1932, but never became an office in the SS. His two captains, Hoffmann and Wohlauf, were SS trained officers. The reserve lieutenants, all seven of them, were drafted into the Order Police because they were ordinary. They were middle class, educated, and successful in their civilian lives. Five of them were members of the Nazi party, but none were in the SS. Of thirty-two remaining officers twenty-two were Party members, but none were mem...