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Fifth seminar for Icelandic law enforcement

November 8-10, 2023

The fifth group of police officers, prosecutors, and academic lecturers from Iceland participated in another edition of the “Confronting Evil” seminar, dedicated to the history of the Holocaust and combating hate crimes.

During workshops at the core exhibition of our museum, we explored the history of our town and its Jewish residents. The culmination was a special tour of the former Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, where the majority of the pre-war Jewish residents of Oświęcim were murdered.

As part of the seminar program, we focused on analyzing the dynamics of events leading to the outbreak of war and genocide against Jews and other victims of the Third Reich. Police officers familiarized themselves with models of intergroup violence escalation, discussed the so-called Nuremberg Laws and other legal acts introducing and expanding discrimination against Jews in Germany. Additionally, we listened to a lecture by Professor Michał Bilewicz (Center for Research on Prejudice at the University of Warsaw) on the psychology of ordinary people’s participation in genocides.

The third day of the program was dedicated to contemporary aspects of combating hate crimes in Iceland, in accordance with the recommendations of the OSCE/ODIHR.

The profound experience of exploring the historical atrocities and engaging in in-depth discussions during the seminar had a lasting impact on the participants, fostering a heightened awareness and commitment to actively combatting hate crimes and promoting tolerance in their professional roles as law enforcement officers.