CLE by the Sea Ethics Program

Lessons from the Holocaust

Featuring William Frederick Meinecke Jr. and Marcus A. Appelbaum of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The Holocaust is much more than an unspeakable horror from WWII or a chapter in a history book. The study of the Holocaust provides important insight into the consequences when the mission of the police, judiciary, and the legal profession is transformed from protecting the rights of individuals to actively abusing basic human civil rights. Using legal decrees, judicial opinions, and case law of the period, participants study the role of these professions in the destruction of democracy and the establishment of the Nazi German state. Participants are challenged to examine their own roles and responsibilities as members of professions that hold the public trust, protect society, and influence the health of our democracy by studying the decision making, the opportunities, and often the failures of their counterparts in Nazi Germany that helped lead to mass murder.

This program track may qualify for up to 3.0 hours MCLE/Ethics.

William Frederick Meinecke Jr.

William Frederick Meinecke Jr. is a historian at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He received his undergraduate degree in German and History from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in 1983. He attended the universities of Bonn and Berlin in Germany and received his M.A. (1988) and Ph.D. (1998) in history from the University of Maryland at College Park. The title of his dissertation was Conflicting Loyalties: The Supreme Court in Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-1945. In 1992 Meinecke joined the staff of the Museum's Wexner Learning Center to help design a multimedia program on the Holocaust, the Historical Atlas of the Holocaust (book and CD-ROM), and a website for students. Since 2000, Meinecke has worked with law enforcement officers, judges, prosecutors, and attorneys in the Museum's Law, Justice, and the Holocaust training program. His book, Nazi Ideology and the Holocaust, was published by the Museum in December 2007.

Marcus A. Appelbaum

Marcus Appelbaum is the director of Law, Justice, and Society Initiatives at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC. These programs provide training for law enforcement officers, members of the judiciary including prosecuting attorneys, and state and federal judges on the role of their profession in safeguarding democracy. To date, Appelbaum has created and facilitated training models for more than 90,000 law enforcement and judicial professionals across the nation. He received his undergraduate degree in history from The George Washington University in Washington, DC, and his master's degree in museum management from the Bank Street College of Education in New York City. His association with the Museum began in 1997, when he completed a student internship while in high school. Since then, he has served as a docent, has compiled survivor testimonies, and represented the Museum internationally at conferences in Israel, Austria, Germany, England, and the Czech Republic as well as across the United States. Appelbaum's grandmother, a Holocaust survivor, inspired his passionate support of the Museum's mission and the work he does to share the lessons of this history to our society today.

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