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To Protect and Serve? Dilemmas in Law Enforcement
A German police guard inspects the papers of two Jewish men at a gate to the Warsaw ghetto in 1941. US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of bpk-Bildagentur
Law enforcement personnel are called upon to protect and defend democratic values while helping to keep the peace in communities around the world. As the Nazi Party implemented its campaign of hate and violence against Jews, police and military helped enforce laws that violated the ideals of service and protection.
The Museum invites law enforcement personnel to participate in programming to examine the roles played by their historical counterparts in Nazi Germany—including those who cooperated and those who did not. Join us for a discussion with today’s law enforcement leaders to learn how Holocaust history is helping new recruits and veteran officers better understand their own professional and individual responsibilities.
Speakers Marcus Appelbaum, Director, Law, Justice, and Society Initiatives, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Charles H. Ramsey, Commissioner (Ret.), Philadelphia Police Department and former Chief, Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia
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.
Law Enforcement and Society: Lessons of the Holocaust
This program enables law enforcement officers to examine the role their profession played in the Holocaust and challenges them to reflect upon their professional and personal responsibilities in a democracy today.
As Chief of Police in Washington, DC, Charles Ramsey developed a training program for law enforcement officers in conjunction with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Anti-Defamation League.
Holocaust Encyclopedia: German Police—From Democracy to Dictatorship
Among the most important duties of the police in any society are the maintenance of public order and the enforcement of the law. These duties can be especially problematic during a major change in the political organization of society.
Holocaust Encyclopedia: German Police in the Nazi State
When the Nazis came to power in January 1933, many policemen remained skeptical of the party and its intentions. Nazi agitation, especially in the latter years of the Weimar Republic, had been subversive and the police had been investigating both the Nazis and the Communists with vigor.
Between the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 and the beginning of World War II in 1939, SS chief Heinrich Himmler built an unassailable position for the SS in the Nazi regime by taking control of the German police forces.