Most Americans believe Holocaust could happen again


Three generations of the Rak family Noah Rak Sam Rak and Miriam Rak light a candle at last year’s Holocaust commemoration

Six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust during World War II, many of them in gas chambers in Nazi death camps.

Americans today have large gaps of knowledge or are ignorant to the history and consequences of the Holocaust, some 73 years since Nazi Germany's atrocities became known to the world, according to a survey commissioned by a Jewish organization which works to compensate survivors. In addition, most Americans (80%) have not visited a Holocaust museum.

According to the organization's survey, almost one-third of all Americans (31%) and more than 4-in-10 Millennials (41%) believe that two million or fewer Jews were murdered in the Holocaust. But as Maggie Astor reports for the New York Times, a new survey has found that Americans have fundamental gaps in their knowledge of Holocaust history-even though many Americans believe that something like the Holocaust could happen again, and consequently believe that Holocaust education is important.

A new survey found that Americans are beginning to lack basic knowledge about the Holocaust.

Just under a third (31 percent) of those surveyed do not believe that 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust and think the real death toll is at least 2 million lower.

It found that there were significant age gaps in knowledge about the Holocaust, with 22 percent of millennials saying they haven't heard or were not sure if they have heard of the Holocaust, compared to 11 percent for all USA adults. The Nazis also murdered millions of Eastern European civilians, Soviet prisoners of war, disabled people, homosexuals and political prisoners.

Nearly half (45 percent) of Americans were unable to name a single concentration camp, and the number was even worse for millennials (49 percent). Two-thirds of Millennials (66%) had no idea what Auschwitz was. Sixty-eight percent of USA adults said antisemitism exists today and 34 percent said there are many neo-Nazis now present in the U.S. A February report from the Southern Poverty Law Center claimed that the number of hate groups in the US has increased by 20 percent over the past three years.

Schoen Consulting conducted the February 23-28 survey of 1,350 US adults by phone and online.

"We say 'Never Forget, ' but the people who were murdered are literally being forgotten as we speak", Greg Schneider, executive vice president of the Claims Conference, tells Lily Rothman of TIME.

"We have a responsibility to convey the lessons of the Holocaust to future generations, and together as Americans, we have a moral obligation to combat antisemitism, confront hate and prevent genocide", Trump said in a statement. Respondents were selected at random and constituted a demographically representative sample of the adult population in the United States.

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