Half of America Doesn't Know That Auschwitz Was a Concentration Camp

We have an astounding lack of knowledge of the Holocaust. 1/3 of the country doesn't believe 6 million Jews were killed.

According to a new survey, Americans have a discouraging lack of knowledge about the genocide that took place during WWII with 1-in-3 of those surveyed saying “substantially less” than 6 million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust.

Major findings of the survey include:

  • Almost half of American Adults (45 percent) and even more among Millennials (49 percent) surveyed were unable to name one single Nazi concentration camp, not even Auschwitz.
  • Seven out of ten Americans (70 percent) say fewer people seem to care about the Holocaust than they used to
  • A majority of Americans (58 percent) believe something like the Holocaust could happen again

The survey was completed by The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, and it was released to coincide with Holocaust Remembrance Day. Apparently, there is a bit of a knowledge gap in America, especially among those in the 22-36 year-old age range. Those gaps include an “awareness of basic facts as well as detailed knowledge of the Holocaust,’ which is likely due to lack of education in U.S. schools.

31% of the people surveyed believe the number of Jews killed by the Nazi regime numbers less than 2 million. In actuality, Hitler killed 6 million Jews, and the Nazis also murdered millions of other people including homosexuals, disabled people, political prisoners, and Roma. The actual death toll from the period is estimated at somewhere between 15 and 20 million people.​

The most disturbing findings of the survey weren’t about the lack of knowledge of history, but the fact that 15% of Americans think displaying Nazi slogans or symbols should be allowed and 11% find Nazi viewpoints acceptable. More than half of the people surveyed believe that mass genocide in scale with the Holocaust could happen again.

The president of the Conference, Julius Berman, stressed that is is “vital to open a dialogue on the state of Holocaust awareness so that the lessons learned inform the next generation. We are alarmed that today’s generation lacks some of the basic knowledge about these atrocities.”

The lesson is sorely needed in America today as hate groups are swelling their numbers and hate crimes are on the rise. Racism, xenophobia, and Antisemitism have all been rearing their ugly little heads more and more often in the Trump era which makes it all the more imperative that the atrocities committed during WWII aren’t forgotten or misunderstood.

Read more about the willful forgetting, “ONE-THIRD OF AMERICANS DON'T BELIEVE 6 MILLION JEWS WERE MURDERED DURING THE HOLOCAUST written by David Brennan and posted by Newsweek on July 2, 2018