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Ordinary People as Mass Murderers


Ordinary People as Mass Murderers: Perpetrators in Comparative Perspectives (The Holocaust and Its Contexts)


This book provides a profound investigation into one of the most disturbing questions of the 20th century: How do ordinary people become mass murderers? Specifically, it delves into the Holocaust, offering a comprehensive overview of current research on the perpetrators.

Key Themes

  1. Transformation of Ordinary People: The book explores the psychological, social, and environmental factors that contributed to the transformation of ordinary individuals into perpetrators of mass atrocities.
  2. Diversity of Perpetrators: It presents a diverse and complex picture of Holocaust perpetrators, challenging the notion of a monolithic profile.
  3. Comparative Perspectives: Comparative analysis with other instances of genocide is used to understand the broader implications of the Holocaust.
  4. Historical Context: The historical context of the Holocaust is examined, providing insights into how such a tragic event could occur.
  5. Moral and Ethical Questions: The book raises crucial moral and ethical questions about human nature and society's capacity for violence.


"Ordinary People as Mass Murderers" is an essential read for those interested in Holocaust studies, genocide research, and the darker aspects of human psychology and society. It serves as a reminder of the capabilities of ordinary individuals under certain conditions and stresses the importance of historical awareness and ethical vigilance.