More than half of UK adults could not say how many Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, with as many as one-quarter unaware of what the term refers to, a new survey has found.
In a survey commissioned by The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and published on the anniversary of Kristallnacht – a series of violent and deadly attacks on Jewish communities in Nazi Germany in 1938 – ‘significant gaps’ were uncovered in the British population’s understanding of the Holocaust.
Of those asked, 52% did not know that six million Jews were murdered by Nazis in the Holocaust, with 22% saying that thought the figure was only two million or fewer.
While the vast majority of people asked said that they had heard of the Holocaust, 25% said that they did not know that the word referred to the extermination of Jewish people, with as many as 1 in 10 people saying that they either did not believe the Holocaust occurred or thought that the number of Jews killed had been exaggerated.
In a statement to the Jewish Chronicle, Conference President Gideon Taylor said she was ‘very concerned to see the profound gaps in knowledge of the Holocaust in this and in previous studies including about events connected to the UK’.
Taylor added that the results of the survey showed that it was vital that the Holocaust continued to be taught in schools, saying, ‘This is where we need to focus our energy. Education will not only fill the gaps in Holocaust knowledge, but it will also make for better, more empathetic citizens.’
Despite the gaps in understanding, the majority of respondents said that they believed that something like the Holocaust could happen again, with 15% saying that they thought there were ‘a great deal of or many’ neo-Nazis in the UK.
The Jewish Chronicle reports that more than half of respondents in France, Austria, Canada and the United States also did not know the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read