A new survey revealed a major lack of knowledge about the Holocaust among young Americans, including that almost a quarter of respondents believed in some form of Holocaust denial or minimization.
The Holocaust Knowledge of American Millennials and Gen Z survey — conducted by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany — showed that 23% of those surveyed thought that the number of Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust had been exaggerated or that the genocide did not happen at all.
Furthermore, 11% believed that the Jews caused the Holocaust.
Some 63% of those surveyed did not know that the number of Jewish dead in the Holocaust was six million, with 36% thinking it was “two million or fewer.” A total of 48% could not name a single concentration camp.
It was also clear that Holocaust denial on social media was having an impact. Nearly half — 49% — of respondents said they had been exposed to such material online, and 56% said they had encountered Nazi symbolism.
Claims Conference executive vice president Greg Schneider commented, “These, and so many of the survey’s other results underlie our profound concern for the need for Holocaust education.”
“The survey suggests that even where there is Holocaust-related education, it may be taught without essential background information or is so isolated in the curriculum such that the full and indispensable impact of the lesson is lost,” he said.
“Now more than ever, educators need our support and we must take a deeper look at the results and the fact that Holocaust mandates are a first step,” Schneider added. “Education is local and we need to use this as a lens towards where local government needs to act.”