Nearly two-thirds of young Americans do not know that 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust, and more than one in 10 believes that Jews caused holocaustA new study reveals shocking levels of ignorance about the greatest crime of the 20th century.
According to a study of millennial and generation Z adults between the ages of 18 and 39, nearly half (48%) could not name a single concentration camp or ghetto established during World War II.
Almost a quarter of respondents (23%) said they believed the Holocaust was a myth, were exaggerated, or were not sure. One in eight (12%) said they definitely hadn’t heard or believed they had heard of the Holocaust.
More than half (56%) said they saw Nazi symbols on their social media platforms and / or in their community, and nearly half (49%) saw posts denying the Holocaust or defamation on social media or anywhere else on the Internet.
Gideon Taylor, head of the organization Jewish Material Claims Conference Against Germany (Claims Conference) Who commissioned the survey.
“We need to understand why we have not done a better job educating the younger generation about the Holocaust and the lessons of the past. This should be a wake-up call for all of us, and as a roadmap for where government officials should act,” Taylor added.
The survey, the first of its kind to be moved to the state level in the United States, ranks states according to a score based on three criteria: whether young people have definitely heard of the Holocaust; Whether they can call a concentration camp, death camp, or ghetto; And whether they know the killing of 6 million Jews.
Wisconsin had the highest scores, with 42% of Millennial and Generation Z adults meeting all three criteria, followed by Minnesota with 37% and Massachusetts with 35%. The states with the lowest scores were Florida with 20%, Mississippi 18%, and Arkansas with 17%.
Nationwide, 63% of respondents did not know 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust, and more than one in three (36%) believe that 2 million Jews or fewer were killed.
Eleven percent of respondents across the United States believe that Jews caused the Holocaust, with the figure in New York state being 19 percent, followed by 16 percent in Louisiana, Tennessee and Montana, and 15 percent in Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Nevada and New Mexico.
Nationwide, 44% of those questioned knew Auschwitz-Birkenau, and only 3% were familiar with Bergen-Belsen. Six out of ten participants in Texas could not name a single concentration camp or ghetto.
Yet nearly two-thirds (64%) of American millennials and adult Z generation believe that teaching the Holocaust should be mandatory in schools. Seven in 10 said it was unacceptable for an individual to adopt neo-Nazi views.
The Claims Conference, whose mission is to “provide a measure of justice to the victims of the Holocaust,” formed a task force to oversee the survey. It included Holocaust survivors, historians, and experts from Yad Vashem and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Data were collected from 1,000 nationwide and 200 state-of-the-state interviews with randomly selected youth between the ages of 18 and 39.