More Than Half of Americans Lack Fundamental Knowledge About the Holocaust: Poll

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More Than Half of Americans Lack Fundamental Knowledge About the Holocaust – Poll

More Than Half of Americans Lack Fundamental Knowledge About the Holocaust – Poll

A new survey by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) has revealed that only half of American adults are aware of how many Jews were killed in the Holocaust, and even fewer were able to answer how Adolf Hitler rose to power.

2023-01-25T04:00+0000

2023-01-25T04:00+0000

2023-01-25T03:54+0000

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A new survey by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) has revealed that only half of American adults are aware of how many Jews were killed in the Holocaust, and even fewer were able to answer how Adolf Hitler rose to power.The Tuesday-published survey polled 1,004 American adults in preparation of International Holocaust Remembrance Day—which is on January 27—and found that just one in four adults (26%) could accurately answer four basic questions about the Shoah.According to the survey, 53% of Americans over the age of 18 were able to accurately answer the number of Jews who were killed in the Holocaust (6 million), about 20% said they were unsure, 2% said less than 1 million, 13% said 3 million, and 12% said more than 12 million. About 76% of respondents were able to correctly answer that the Holocaust occurred between 1930 and 1950, while 10% were unsure, and 1% said it was between 1890 and 1920. Another 10% answered between 1910 and 1930.But when asked about how Hitler rose to power, just 39% were able to correctly answer that he became chancellor through a democratic political process, while 24% said they were unsure, and 34% believed he violently overthrew the German government in a coup.A vast majority of the respondents did accurately describe Auschwitz as a concentration camp and death camp for Jews, whereas 12% were unsure of the its role.“Lacking knowledge can open pathways to trivialization and denial of the Holocaust that also contribute to rising antisemitism,” said Ted Deutch, the CEO of AJC, whose father fought the Nazis at the Battle of the Bulge. Just 26% of American adults answered all four survey questions correctly, while 30% got at least three answers correct, and 25% only answered two correctly. Those who were college graduates were more likely to answer the questions accurately when compared to respondents who only had some college education, or those with a high school education or less.Shockingly, only 26% of those surveyed have visited a Holocaust Museum or memorial—those with college degrees were more likely to visit.This is not the first time Americans have been surveyed on their knowledge of the Holocaust. In 2020, ABC News found millennials and Gen Z (those under the age of 40) showed a “worrying lack of basic knowledge” about the Holocaust.”The most important lesson is that we can’t lose any more time,” said Greg Schneider, executive vice president of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, which commissioned the study 2020 study. “If we let these trends continue for another generation, the crucial lessons from this terrible part of history could be lost.”

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More than half of all religious bias crimes in the US are committed against Jews, and according to the American Jewish Committee’s State of Antisemitism in America Report published in October of 2021, nearly 25% of all Jews have been personally targeted by discrimination while nearly 50% knew someone who was a victim of antisemitism.

A new survey by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) has revealed that only half of American adults are aware of how many Jews were killed in the Holocaust, and even fewer were able to answer how Adolf Hitler rose to power.

The Tuesday-published survey polled 1,004 American adults in preparation of International Holocaust Remembrance Day—which is on January 27—and found that just one in four adults (26%) could accurately answer four basic questions about the Shoah.
According to the survey, 53% of Americans over the age of 18 were able to accurately answer the number of Jews who were killed in the Holocaust (6 million), about 20% said they were unsure, 2% said less than 1 million, 13% said 3 million, and 12% said more than 12 million.

About 76% of respondents were able to correctly answer that the Holocaust occurred between 1930 and 1950, while 10% were unsure, and 1% said it was between 1890 and 1920. Another 10% answered between 1910 and 1930.

But when asked about how Hitler rose to power, just 39% were able to correctly answer that he became chancellor through a democratic political process, while 24% said they were unsure, and 34% believed he violently overthrew the German government in a coup.

A vast majority of the respondents did accurately describe Auschwitz as a concentration camp and death camp for Jews, whereas 12% were unsure of the its role.

“Lacking knowledge can open pathways to trivialization and denial of the Holocaust that also contribute to rising antisemitism,” said Ted Deutch, the CEO of AJC, whose father fought the Nazis at the Battle of the Bulge.

“As we mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, 78 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, it is imperative that Americans continue to learn about the most documented, planned genocide in modern history – the Nazi extermination of one-third of the Jewish people.”

Just 26% of American adults answered all four survey questions correctly, while 30% got at least three answers correct, and 25% only answered two correctly. Those who were college graduates were more likely to answer the questions accurately when compared to respondents who only had some college education, or those with a high school education or less.

Shockingly, only 26% of those surveyed have visited a Holocaust Museum or memorial—those with college degrees were more likely to visit.

This is not the first time Americans have been surveyed on their knowledge of the Holocaust. In 2020, ABC News found millennials and Gen Z (those under the age of 40) showed a “worrying lack of basic knowledge” about the Holocaust.

“The most important lesson is that we can’t lose any more time,” said Greg Schneider, executive vice president of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, which commissioned the study 2020 study.

“If we let these trends continue for another generation, the crucial lessons from this terrible part of history could be lost.”

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