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Dallas Holocaust museum pushing “upstander” behaviors and training law enforcement

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DALLAS, TX. - Museums are supposed to be historical and educational, and while the characters may not come alive, like in Night at the Museum, museums can be a teaching tool to make sure history doesn't repeat itself.

The Holocaust Museum in Dallas is no exception.

"We talk about the difference between being a bystander rather than an upstander," says museum president and CEO, Mary Pat Higgins, "we want to promote upstander behavior."

As we're seeing in Syria, upstanders are in high demand.

"We believe the building of the crematorium is an effort to cover up the extent of mass murders taking place in Saydnaya prison," said Stuart Jones, the acting assistant secretary for Near Eastern affairs in a news conference.

"You make sure this doesn't happen again is you teach students when you see these things, the bit by bit, the incremental, the little things," says Dr. Sara Abosch Jacobson who is a PHD at the museum, "that's when you stand up."

A new program for law enforcement called 'Law Enforcement and Society' is taking the teachings a step further.

"To understand the roll that law enforcement played during the holocaust," says Higgins, "it helps law enforcement professionals think about their roll in enforcing the constitution, and in protecting our citizens."

And for many, new programs like this one, which will involve an expansion at the museum, couldn't have come at a better time.

"Prejudice and hatred is alive and well in our community and our museum is needed now more than ever," says Higgins.

The new museum is expected to break ground within the year and the next law enforcement training is in mid-June.


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