I have been listening to the book Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland on Audible on my commute.
It’s a difficult book to listen to.
In chapter 10, the author talks about the clearing of the ghetto at Międzyrzec to send the Jews to Treblinka.
What stuck out at me was that 11,000 Jews were deported and over 900 shot by a cadre of only 350 police.
Moreover, the police, due to the emotional stress of what they were doing (which is hard to consider, almost having to feel empathy for German police having to deal with their own psychological pressure of shooting thousands of Jews by firing squad) were drinking heavily. They often got so drunk they had to shoot Jews multiple times because they would miss the kill zone at near point blank range and wound the Jews instead.
Again, 11,000 Jews were rounded up and deported and 900 were shot by 350 intoxicated German Order Police.
And there wasn’t one report of Jews fighting back.
The Jews were given shovels and picks to dig mass graves while guarded by only a couple of drunk German police, and not one Jew thought to whack a drunk German in the head with a shovel?
The hardest part of listening to this is the overwhelming sense of shame I have that 11,000 Jews, knowing what their fate would be, didn’t fight back with every last improvised weapon that they could get their hands on.
I actually understand the Germans. Throughout history many people have enslaved, oppressed, and massacred others over tribal or religious differences.
What I don’t understand is how the Jews, who do outnumbered the Order Police just accepted their fate.
If you want to understand me and my anger issues, this is at a root of it.
I want to over compensate for the passive cowardness of European Jews with ferocity.