Following Łomazy, the officers’ assignments varied over time. Initially, they served to round up and deport Jews to work and extermination camps. Though the result of such actions was no different from the gruesome scenes in the Polish woods, the burden of direct responsibility had shifted away from the men, rendering the task more easily bearable. “Jew hunts,” on the contrary, required again a very personal nature of execution. By that point, though, hardened volunteers were more than willing to take the place of the squeamish and later share crass jokes about their action over lunch. The battalion reached the height, or perhaps nadir, of its efforts during the Erntefest massacre in Majdanek and Poniatowa. There, the entire group was required to contribute in all phases to the death of at least 30,500 Jews. An astounding sum, Browning nonetheless is sure to highlight the conspicuous lack of significant outrage over the group’s most deadly of actions. Again, most simply had grown accustomed to the horrors they had repeatedly partaken in. Following Erntefest, the Reserve Police Battalion 101 made no further contributions to the Final Solution.


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