News & Opinion | September 16, 2020 11:26 am

Nearly Two-Thirds of American Young Adults Don’t Know How Many Jews Were Killed in the Holocaust

A troubling new survey also revealed 23 percent think the Holocaust is a myth

The entrance gate with the inscription "Arbeit macht frei" can be seen at the Dachau concentration camp memorial site. US soldiers liberated more than 30,000 people imprisoned in the camp on April 29, 1945. (Photo by Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images)
The entrance gate with the inscription "Arbeit macht frei" can be seen at the Dachau concentration camp memorial site. US soldiers liberated more than 30,000 people imprisoned in the camp on April 29, 1945. (Photo by Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images)
dpa/picture alliance via Getty I

As the old adage goes, “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” That’s why the results of a new survey by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany are deeply troubling: according to the survey, nearly two-thirds of American adults aged 18 to 39 are not aware that 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.

Sixty-three percent of those surveyed were unaware of that fact, and as NBC News reports, of those, nearly half thought the death toll was under 2 million. Almost half of respondents (48 percent, to be exact) could not name a single concentration camp or ghetto established during WWII. Most alarmingly, 23 percent said they believed the Holocaust was a myth or exaggerated, and 12 percent said they had not heard about the Holocaust.

“The results are both shocking and saddening, and they underscore why we must act now while Holocaust survivors are still with us to voice their stories,” Gideon Taylor, president of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, said in a statement. “We need to understand why we aren’t doing better in educating a younger generation about the Holocaust and the lessons of the past. This needs to serve as a wake-up call to us all, and as a road map of where government officials need to act.”

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