(WHDH) — A recent state-by-state survey revealed a number of “disturbing” findings, including a “shocking” lack of basic Holocaust knowledge among young adults in the United States.
Sixty-three percent of all millennials and Generation Z did not know that six million Jews were murdered and 36 percent thought that “two million or fewer Jews” were killed during the Holocaust, according to the results of a Claims Conference survey that were announced Wednesday.
Although there were more than 40,000 concentration camps and ghettos established in Europe during the Holocaust, 48 percent of respondents could not name a single one, the survey showed.
In perhaps one of the most disturbing revelations, 11 percent of respondents believe Jews caused the Holocaust, surveyors said.
“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,” said Gideon Taylor, President of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. “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.”
Wisconsin scored the highest in Holocaust awareness among adults under the age of 40. Massachusetts, Maine, Kansas, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Idaho, Iowa, and Montana ranked among states with the most knowledge.
The states with the lowest Holocaust Knowledge scores were Alaska, Delaware, Maryland, New York, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi, and Arkansas.
“Not only was their overall lack of Holocaust knowledge troubling, but combined with the number of millennials and Gen Z who have seen Holocaust denial on social media, it is clear that we must fight this distortion of history and do all we can to ensure that the social media giants stop allowing this harmful content on their platforms,” Claims Conference Executive Vice President Greg Schneider said of the survey. ” Survivors lost their families, friends, homes and communities. We cannot deny their history.”
A consistent bright spot across all the survey findings was the desire for Holocaust education. Sixty-four percent of respondents believe that Holocaust education should be compulsory in school.
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