We teach children that if they are in public and feel threatened, they should seek out a police officer for protection. But what if the threat is the officer? And what if the courts punish his victims?
At least in this country, such a scenario is difficult to comprehend. But there was a time when it happened on a horrendous scale in Germany.
It has been two-thirds of a century since World War II ended and the terror that was the Holocaust was revealed. Six million people, most of them Jews, were killed by the genocidal Nazi machine.
This fall, in a program organized by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, more than 450 Ohio judges will learn more about what happened during the Nazi era and, more important, how it occurred.
Museum Director Sara Bloomfield explained the program was set up to address the question of how police and courts could become persecutors instead of protectors.
It happened on an enormous scale unimaginable to most people today. Tens of thousands of German police and judges helped arrest Jews and other "undesirables" and send them to death camps. Millions of Germans were part of the process, in ways small and large.
It happened, and that means the only thing preventing it from occurring again is knowledge of how the process of perverting justice occurred in Germany.
Judges who participate in the museum's training are to be commended for understanding special efforts must be made to prevent another Holocaust.