Law Enforcement and the
Perhaps the most important element of Holocaust education is to tell the
story to future generations. Not only is it critical to remember that
the Holocaust happened and attempts to deny it amount to double
victimization, it is no less critical to remember (teach) the Holocaust
with the intent of preventing it from ever happening again.
Pertinent conceptions of
the roles and responsibility of policing were formulated by
Alderson, former Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall, who saw it as
contributing to "liberty, equality and fraternity
in human affairs" and as facilitating the freedom of passage of people and
Nazi Germany had a
police force that did exactly the opposite. Therefore, it is
imperative to demonstrate how policing in the wrong hands could result in
disastrous outcomes that stand as anathema to its intended societal role. It
is also important to illustrate that the role of police should never be taken
for granted by those served by it and particularly by those providing the
service. This poses direct relevant law enforcement practice dilemmas such
as: recognizing what constitutes illegal orders, understanding what constitutes
justified resistance, and identifying the need for training in issues of
extraordinary emotional significance for those who were victims and for those
who might potentially become victims in the future.
There are several
research, archival, and museum centers around the world. The most famous in the
U.S. is The United States
Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in Washington,
DC, and Yad Vashem
in Jerusalem, Israel. Many law enforcement officers in the U.S. visit the USHMM
as part of their professional training and continuing education efforts.
See, for example, ADL's Law
Enforcement and Society (LEAS): Lessons of the Holocaust program. All GILEE delegations to Israel make it a point to visit Yad Vashem, also known
as The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority.
In May, 2006, the GILEE
delegation was guided at Yad Vashem by Guy Shemer, a
Guides Instructor in the department for training guides. An interview with him
appeared in the Jerusalem Post
(August 22, 2006).
He also guided (November, 2007) comedian
Jerry Seinfeld who used the term
Nazi" in his TV series, and British Prime Minister
Gordon Brown (July 2008).
Other dignitaries recently visited Yad Vashem.
Learn from the past,
understand the present, make a difference for the future
GILEE's director received the
Georgia Commission on the Holocaust Humanitarian Award at the Annual
State Official Observance, Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust,
held at the Georgia State Capitol on May 6, 2005. His keynote address,
Lessons From The Holocaust, emphasized the need to learn from past
lessons, understand present threats, and make a difference for the future to
prevent this from ever happening again. See also an excellent article on the
lessons of the Holocaust by Erwin Cotler.