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Lawmakers consider bill to require Holocaust education in Wisconsin schools

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MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- For the last five years in a row, the Milwaukee area alone has had an increase in antisemitic incidents, according to the Milwaukee Jewish Federation. Those incidents helped spark legislation to educate Wisconsin students about the Holocaust and other genocides in history. 

It's not just antisemitic crimes but other incidents as well that can cause harm and fear in communities. Supporters of the bill being considered Wednesday, Feb. 12 believe education can help heal and prevent these acts. 

Assembly Bill 816 would require education about the Holocaust and other genocides into high school and middle school social studies curriculum. 

Eva Zaret is a Holocaust survivor and testified in favor of the bill in a public hearing. Not only does she know firsthand the atrocities of antisemitism and the Holocaust, but she also knows the power of educating younger people on the topic. 

Zaret spoke with Baraboo students involved with the viral photo of a group giving a Nazi salute last year, and says her teachings had an impact. 

"They just need education, they are full of love, they understand, they came and hugged me and there was a standing ovation. I didn’t scold at them for that horrible picture, because I told them I don’t want to remember that sight of Hitler’s salute. I love this state, I used to camp in Baraboo all the time, that’s what I want to remember," Zaret siad. 

The bill has bipartisan support and lawmakers are trying to push it through before they wrap up the session for the year in just a few weeks. 

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