Study finds major gaps in Holocaust knowledge among Americans

On Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, and during this week of remembrance, we reflect on one of the darkest periods in the history of the world and honor the victims of Nazi persecution. A majority, 58 percent, said they believe something like the Holocaust could happen again.

Of those aware of the Holocaust, one third of all Americans and over four in 10 millennials believe that only two million Jews or less were killed.

"The survey found there are critical gaps both in awareness of basic facts as well as detailed knowledge of the Holocaust", said a news release on the findings.

The Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness Study, released on Holocaust Remembrance Day, found that many US adults lack basic knowledge of the events that occurred during the Holocaust-and that the lack of Holocaust knowledge was more pronounced among American Millennials ages 18 to 34. Among the notable results, the study found that over one-fifth (22%) of young Americans have never heard about the Holocaust or were unsure what it was.

The executive vice president of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, which seeks restitution for Holocaust victims and their heirs and commissioned the February survey of 1,350 respondents, says the gaps in understanding are "troubling" given that some 400,000 Holocaust survivors are still living.

Duda assured Rivlin that Polish lawmakers had no intention of silencing Holocaust survivors over WWII-era crimes against Jews that were "worthy only of condemnation".

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The statement continued: "By the end, the Nazis and their conspirators had murdered 6 million men, women, and children, simply because they were Jews".

More than 100,000 others including non-Jewish Poles, Roma, Soviet prisoners of war and anti-Nazi resistance fighters also died there, according to the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum. Estimates of the total death toll reach as high at 15 million to 20 million people.

The study also revealed that nearly half of Americans (45%) can not name a single concentration camp, with an even higher percentage among adults aged 18-34.

Further, large numbers of respondents believe that there is anti-Semitism in the US today (68 percent) and that there are many neo-Nazis in the USA (34 percent).

Data was collected and analyzed by Schoen Consulting with a representative sample of 1350 American adults via landline, cell-phone, and online interviews. We have a responsibility to convey the lessons of the Holocaust to future generations, and together as Americans, we have a moral obligation to combat antisemitism, confront hate, and prevent genocide. "We are alarmed that today's generation lacks some of the basic knowledge about these atrocities", claims Conference President Julius Berman said in a statement.

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