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September 13, 2017
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7 p.m.

US Holocaust Memorial Museum
100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW
Washington, DC 20024

How Did Ordinary Citizens Become Murderers?
Public Program
Young women in the SS Helferinnen arrive by bus at Solahütte, the SS retreat near Auschwitz. <i>US Holocaust Memorial Museum</i>
Young women in the SS Helferinnen arrive by bus at Solahütte, the SS retreat near Auschwitz. US Holocaust Memorial Museum

In the Holocaust era, countless ordinary people acted in ways that aided the persecution and murder of Jews and other targeted groups within Nazi Germany and across Europe. The Museum’s current special exhibition, Some Were Neighbors: Collaboration & Complicity in the Holocaust, examines one vexing question: what prompted average people to commit extraordinary crimes in support of the Nazi cause? 

The seminal research of Dr. Christopher Browning, the author of Ordinary Men, and Dr. Wendy Lower, the author of Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields, will help to illuminate the universal qualities that manifested through some of the Holocaust’s most unlikely collaborators.

Dr. Christopher Browning, Professor of History Emeritus, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill  and author of Ordinary Men
Dr. Wendy Lower, Acting Director of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and author of Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields

Ralph Blumenthal, Award-winning New York Times journalist and non-fiction author

Watch online
Stream the program live at Registration is not required to watch the live-streamed event.

Join the conversation online using #AskWhy and #USHMM.

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Please note that the Museum may be recording and photographing this event. By your presence you consent to the Museum's use of your image.

Women in the Third Reich
Nazi ideology emphasized “Aryan” women’s roles as wives and mothers of “pure” German children, but many entered the workforce and even the military to meet Germany’s wartime needs.
Learn More
War Crimes Trial: The Belsen Case
Archival news footage from the postwar period documents the prosecution of 19 women for crimes committed against prisoners at the Bergen-Belsen camp.
Learn More
Voices on Antisemitism: Christopher Browning
Historian Christopher Browning has written extensively about how ordinary Germans became murderers during the Holocaust. Listen to Browning explain why examining the perpetrators’ history matters.
Learn More
Holocaust Encyclopedia: Perpetrators
The members of the SS, the elite guard of the Nazi regime, were key players in the “Final Solution,” the plan to murder the Jews of Europe.
Learn More

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