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June 12th, 2009
11:14 AM ET

Witness to history and horror

The scene, Wednesday, outside the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The scene, Wednesday, outside the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Editor's note: Deborah E. Lipstadt is currently Resnick Invitational Scholar at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University. She is the author of "History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier.

Deborah E. Lipstadt
Special to CNN

I write this from my office in the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum where I have been privileged to have had a fellowship for the past semester. Up until Wednesday at 12:50 p.m., it had been a perfect visit. Everything a scholar could hope for: exceptional scholarly resources and a magnificent museum staff.

When I arrive each morning, long before the doors open to the public, I always marvel at the people waiting to enter. They represent every religion, ethnic group, and nationality. In the past few weeks I've seen hundreds of school groups as well as Annapolis midshipmen, scouts, FBI trainees and police force members.

They come to learn about the consequences of hate and prejudice. And Wednesday the entire world was given a graphic reminder of what that hatred can produce when a white supremacist, anti-Semitic, Holocaust denier, entered the building and allegedly shot a guard before being wounded himself.

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Filed under: 360º Follow • Hate Crime
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Isabel, Brazil

    The daily challenge of the authorities today is to find the balance between civil liberties of American citizens and the need to investigate activities that could lead to criminal conduct.

    Even the FBI classified the assassination on Wednesday as “domestic terrorism” and the FBI waving with a warning.

    The government, authorities and people have to quote and not allow such thoughts take power.

    June 12, 2009 at 6:10 pm |