Holocaust Awareness Survey Reveals Alarming Ignorance, Especially Among Younger Americans

FILE - The file picture taken just after the liberation by the Soviet army in January, 1945 shows a group of children wearing concentration camp uniforms including Martha Weiss who was ten years-old, 6th from right, at the time behind barbed wire fencing in the Oswiecim (Auschwitz) Nazi concentration camp. The German government has agreed to provide additional financial assistance for child survivors of the Holocaust, who are suffering increasing problems associated with malnutrition and psychological trauma when they were young. The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany said the agreement reached with the Finance Ministry late Wednesday, Sept 3, 2014 would provide one-time payments of 2,500 euros (US$ 3,280) for Jewish children who were in concentration camps, ghettos or spent at least six months in hiding. (AP Photo)

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day.

We pause to reflect on the fact that approximately six million Jews were murdered during the Second World War.

It is horrific to think about what occurred within the walls of concentrations camps like Auschwitz, Dachau, and Bergen-Belsen, but we absolutely must. We can’t repeat that chapter in history.


As an American, I believe it is imperative that we stand as allies with our Israeli brothers and sisters. No matter who our president is, they must always be a friend to that great nation. Unfortunately, it seems that too many young Americans have either not been properly taught about the Holocaust or are too lazy to inform themselves about the past.

According to a survey commissioned by The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Holocaust awareness within the United States is at an all-time low, emphasis mine.

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 following is entirely unacceptable.

Nearly one-third of all Americans (31 percent) and more than 4-in-10 Millennials (41 percent) believe that substantially less than 6 million Jews were killed (two million or fewer) during the Holocaust

While there were over 40,000 concentration camps and ghettos in Europe during the Holocaust, almost half of Americans (45 percent) cannot name a single one – and this percentage is even higher amongst Millennials

11% of US adults and over one-fifth of Millennials (22%) haven’t heard or are not sure if  they have heard of the Holocaust


Thankfully, the majority of respondents (93%) believe that students should learn about it. That percentage should be 100%.

Every American should have a detailed awareness of the Holocaust. This is not something only for Americans with a real thirst for history. Humanity as a whole must never, ever forget the pure evil that existed, persisted, and took millions of innocent lives.

I’m glad to have been taught the truth while in school, within my own home growing up, and later as a history major in college. I will certainly do my part to discuss the horrors of the Holocaust.

We must maintain this discomfort and honor the memories of the souls who were extinguished by hate.

None of us has any excuse.

Follow Kimberly Ross on Twitter: @southernkeeks.


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