The Museum has developed a variety of educational approaches for examining a historical case study in which three company commanders responded differently to the same illegal order to shoot the Jewish population in their areas of operations.
The approaches below, A Wehrmacht Battalion and its Orders, Fall 1941 and Ordinary Soldiers: A Study in Ethics, Law, and Leadership, examine the case study through the lenses of leadership and decision making on the Eastern Front and related issues for the military today.
Holocaust Encyclopedia Articles
The following related articles contain critical learning questions that can be used when discussing article content with students.
A Wehrmacht Battalion and its Orders, Fall 1941
This approach is designed to focus on leadership philosophy and how that philosophy is put into action. The historical case study reveals the dynamic relationship between command climate, obedience to orders, discipline, and the protection of civilians in armed conflict. It is well-suited for discussions of leadership and ethical decision-making.
Ordinary Soldiers: A Study in Ethics, Law, and Leadership
Ordinary Soldiers is a more technical examination of the case study that pairs well with instruction on the Uniform Code of Military Justice. It has three teaching options.