Per CBS News, the U.S. Millennial Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness Survey found that 63 percent of young American adults do not know that six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust. An estimated 36 percent of participants also thought the death toll was two million or fewer.
The study, which was commissioned by the Claims Conference and conducted by Schoen Cooperman Research, surveyed adults between 18 and 39 years old across all 50 states. The findings exposed a general lack of Holocaust knowledge across the board.
In one of the most shocking revelations, more than one in 10 participants thought Jews caused the genocide. This belief was especially apparent among respondents in the state of New York.
Another 48 percent couldn’t name a single concentration camp or World War II ghetto, even though there were more than 40,000 of them in Europe at the time.
According to the report, nearly a quarter of the surveyed individuals stated the Holocaust was either a myth or had been greatly exaggerated. Elsewhere, one in eight said they weren’t aware of the Holocaust, or they were unsure if they’d heard about it.
A substantial portion of those who provided feedback for the research revealed they’d seen Nazi symbols on social media or in their communities. This was especially prominent among Nevada participants, with 70 percent confirming they had been exposed to the symbols.
The results also revealed many of the studied individuals had witnessed Holocaust denial online. Claims Conference called this finding “troubling.”
Gideon Taylor, president of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, described the findings as “shocking and saddening.” He feels the survivors’ stories must be amplified while some of them are still alive to tell them.
“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.”
As noted by Claims Conference, the research produced some positive findings across the board. The majority of people who took part stated they’d like to see more Holocaust education taught in schools, with many stating it should be compulsory.
However, one of the more disturbing revelations showed more than 59 percent of the respondents believe an event like the Holocaust could happen in the future.
Wisconsin scored highest in terms of Holocaust awareness, while Arkansas came in last.