10% of US Young Adults Think Jews Caused the Holocaust

Survey results cast as 'shocking,' 'astounding'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2020 10:45 AM CDT
10% of US Young Adults Think Jews Caused the Holocaust
People write the names of Jews from Frankfurt, murdered during the Holocaust, on the street during an art project in the German city on Aug. 24, 2020.   (Arne Dedert/dpa via AP)

Nearly two-thirds of young adults in America don't know about the Holocaust, the greatest crime of the last century, which some fear could be repeated. That's according to a survey of 11,000 adults ages 18 to 39. Some 23% said they believed the Holocaust was exaggerated, a myth, or they weren’t sure, while 12% couldn’t recall hearing of the event, reports the Guardian. Some 48% couldn’t name a concentration camp or ghetto, though there were more than 40,000, per NBC News. A greater percentage said they'd seen Nazi symbols in person or on social media (56%) and viewed denials or distortions online (49%). "The results are both shocking and saddening," says Gideon Taylor, president of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, which commissioned the survey and has been pushing Facebook to consider Holocaust denial as hate speech.

The survey was given to a random, demographically representative sample of 200 young adults in each state, as well as 1,000 nationwide. Respondents in Wisconsin showed the most knowledge, with 42% familiar with the Holocaust, being able to name a camp or ghetto, and acknowledging the deaths of 6 million Jews. Just 20% of respondents in Florida could do the same, per the Guardian. Overall, 63% of respondents were unaware 6 million Jews were murdered. An alarming 15% thought it was acceptable to hold neo-Nazi views, per USA Today. Some 11% said they believed Jews caused the Holocaust; in New York, that figure was 19%. That's an "astounding" revelation for Holocaust survivor and Claims Conference board member Stefanie Seltzer, who ties "the rise of antisemitism, the resurgence of hate crimes and racism, and a new generation of neo-Nazis" to the waning of "basic historical facts" at the Daily Beast. (More Holocaust stories.)

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