Millennials, Gen Z Don’t Know About Holocaust

The Fellowship  |  September 17, 2020

Children liberated from Auschwitz, illustrating survey revealing lack of Millennials knowledge of Holocaust
Children liberated from Auschwitz

As the remaining Holocaust survivors grow older, we still remain committed to saying, “Never again,” and committed to never forgetting this dark chapter in the Jewish people’s history. The same doesn’t seem to be true for American young people, however. The Jerusalem Post’s Zachary Keyser tells us about a new survey that shows a “worrying lack of basic Holocaust knowledge” among millennials and other young people in the United States today:

Some 63% of the sample were unaware that six million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust, and 36% thought that number to be “two million or fewer.” At least nine states reported more than 60% of respondents were unaware that six million Jews were killed. Eight states had more than 30% of respondents claim they believed less than two million Jews were killed during the Holocaust.

“We came to realize that, although a number of states already mandate Holocaust education, which is an excellent first step, for the mandates to have a significant effect in classrooms there must be state funding to support the mandates,” said Claims Conference Holocaust task force leader Matthew Bronfman. “The Holocaust is a broad topic. Specialized teacher training and a thoughtfully developed curriculum is needed for students to benefit.”

Nearly half of respondents (48%) were unable to name a single ghetto, death or concentration camp involved in the mass murder. Some 56% were unable to identify the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, while only 6% were familiar with the Dachau camp. Bergen-Belsen garnered 3%, while only 1% identified Treblinka and Buchenwald.

The numbers, state-by-state, show that 60% of respondents in Texas, 58% in New York and 57% in South Carolina were unable to name a camp or ghetto.

More importantly, around 20% of the young sample in New York “felt” as though the Jews caused the Holocaust. Out of the nationwide sample, 11% believed that Jews were responsible for the Holocaust…

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