Patterico's Pontifications

9/16/2020

Survey: Large Number of Young People Don’t Know About The Holocaust; Large Number Who Do, Say It’s A Myth

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:42 pm



[guest post by Dana]

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by this, but I am:

Almost two-thirds of young American adults do not know that 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust, and more than one in 10 believe Jews caused the Holocaust, a new survey has found, revealing shocking levels of ignorance about the greatest crime of the 20th century.

According to the study of millennial and Gen Z adults aged between 18 and 39, almost half (48%) could not name a single concentration camp or ghetto established during the second world war.

Almost a quarter of respondents (23%) said they believed the Holocaust was a myth, or had been exaggerated, or they weren’t sure. One in eight (12%) said they had definitely not heard, or didn’t think they had heard, about the Holocaust.

More than half (56%) said they had seen Nazi symbols on their social media platforms and/or in their communities, and almost half (49%) had seen Holocaust denial or distortion posts on social media or elsewhere online.

Gideon Taylor, president of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, which commissioned the survey, points out that this is why it’s vital that remaining survivors continue to tell their stories:

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. 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.

Interestingly, the survey ranked states “according to a score based on three criteria: whether young people have definitely heard about the Holocaust; whether they can name one concentration camp, death camp or ghetto; and whether they know 6 million Jews were killed”. Here is how some of the states ranked:

The top-scoring state was Wisconsin, where 42% of millennial and Gen Z adults met all three criteria, followed by Minnesota at 37% and Massachusetts at 35%. The lowest-scoring states were Florida at 20%, Mississippi at 18% and Arkansas at 17%.

More survey findings:

Nationally, 63% of respondents did not know 6 million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust, and more than one in three (36%) thought 2 million or fewer had been killed.

Eleven per cent of respondents across the US believed that Jews had caused the Holocaust, with the proportion in New York state at 19%, followed by 16% in Louisiana, Tennessee and Montana, and 15% in Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Nevada and New Mexico.

Nationally, 44% of those questioned were able to identify Auschwitz-Birkenau, and only 3% were familiar with Bergen-Belsen. Six out of 10 respondents in Texas could not name a single concentration camp or ghetto.

I think this helps explain why so many young adults refer to authorities as Nazis when they use lawful means to tamp down the looting and vandalism in cities currently facing out-of-control rioting. They have no concept of who the Nazis were and have no understanding of just how deeply evil they were toward their fellow man. Many of the claims and accusations we hear bandied about today in the public square are simply the offspring of ignorance. Sadly, far too many accept them as gospel. Also, anti-Semitism is popular at many institutions of higher learning, along with solid BDS movements, so, you know…

–Dana

44 Responses to “Survey: Large Number of Young People Don’t Know About The Holocaust; Large Number Who Do, Say It’s A Myth”

  1. This is so sad. And frustrating.

    Dana (292df6)

  2. And one wonders what they teach teachers, or what rules teachers teach by. Then aain my experience as an adult tells me that the mind-like-a-steel-trap, “Stand and Deliver” teacher image is mostly untrue. Most teachers excel only in tolerating unruly kids and teaching them to meet a test.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  3. Outside of the sciences, anyway, and many of those folks are also sports coaches.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  4. Two-thirds of young American adults couldn’t find their back side with both hands.

    My niece, who somehow got admitted to BYU, didn’t even know where New England was!

    norcal (a5428a)

  5. I had a great football coach as a History teacher. Of course, it was a history class. Teaching history was part of the curriculum back in the day.

    Harmon Ward (5921b0)

  6. We really need to do something about these racists/neo-nazi rightwingers in the education system and academia suppressing history.

    frosty (f27e97)

  7. This is the Democrats’ favorite demographic.

    beer ‘n pretzels (27da31)

  8. We really need to do something about these racists/neo-nazi rightwingers in the education system and academia suppressing history.

    What if the people who are poorly informed are the ones who didn’t finish high school, or didn’t attend college?

    I couldn’t find the raw survey data, but another thing to keep in mind is that immigrants from Asia or Latin America might be less familiar with this history.

    Dave (1bb933)

  9. @1. It is sad- but OTOH, ‘time marches on’– and the Holocaust isn’t immune to that. Even w/newsreel footage, Cronkite’s reports from the Nuremberg trials and eyewitness accounts easily accessible, it’s not a pleasant subject to recount.

    Personally remain deeply conflicted over learning top Nazis were put to work by the U.S. government to place Americans on the moon. My admiration for their engineering skills remains unbounded however ‘the ends justifying the means’ are wholly Faustian to say the least. But Truman, Eisenhower, JFK and LBJ knew it and Operation Paperclip facilitated it.

    Kurt Debus ran the Kennedy Space Center for years and was SS; an ardent Nazi. Arthur Rudolph, intrumental in developng the Saturn V — and the V-2– was outted in the early 80s for his Nazi deeds, stripped of his U.S. citizenship and deported back to Germany where he died. And Von Braun was SS. Yet he was embraced by the U.S. government– and popularized by the likes of Walt Disney. Met VB as a young man; admired him greatly- before learning of his past and his Paperclip ‘cover’ was fully blown. He died in 1977 and had he lived into the 1980s, chances are he’d have faced a inquisition fate to Rudolph’s. What these engineers accomplished is unquestionable. How they accomplished it is.

    ‘Not knowing’ may just be an element of an event not having any relevance to immediate, 21st century problems. But it is important to know; past is prologue.

    Remember the Maine?

    Nope.

    “Knowledge is good.” – Emil Faber ‘Animal House’1978

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  10. “This is the Democrats’ favorite demographic.”

    The lowest-scoring states were Florida at 20%, Mississippi at 18% and Arkansas at 17%.

    Davethulhu (7fdf23)

  11. The Left, when not outright denying the Holocaust, downplays the number of victims.

    The Atlantic just published an article trashing the Abraham Accords – saying it hurts Iran. Iran, the best friend of Democrat politicians and the main font of Holocaust denying.

    Hoi Polloi (dc4124)

  12. Hoi Polloi,

    Would you please post a link to the story?

    Dana (292df6)

  13. Re 10, can we be sure that isn’t from the rump 40% that comprises the D voting base in MS and AR? The fat black OCS cadet in Annapolis (2006) was right regarding Mississippi being Arkansas’ favorite state.

    urbanleftbehind (3568e2)

  14. @11-
    The Atlantic did not “trash the Abraham accords.” They merely pointed the winners:

    The agreement is a victory for Mohammed bin Zayed, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and the de facto ruler of the Emirates; Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia; Benjamin Netanyahu, the forever prime minister of Israel; and President Donald Trump.

    And losers:

    Iran and the Palestinians:

    ….Once again, Arab leaders are signaling to the Palestinians that they have grown tired of what they see as Palestinian rejectionism and obduracy, and also that they would very much like to be partners with Israel in high-tech development and in the fight against Iran. …..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  15. With all the beefing some people on here do about the US history curriculum (there isn’t any trouble with the US history curriculum) you’d think that someone else would’ve noticed that we don’t actually teach that much history at the secondary level (and almost none at the elementary level, other than 4th grade state history). Generally speaking, kids get 2.5 required years of history in HS. World (or Geography), US, and Gov. My district does teach WWII and the holocaust, but they start in the late 1800s and go through modern. A lot of places start with Mesopotamia/Egypt and go forward in some fashion but never reach anything past the industrial revolution. So you mostly don’t get one or the other in HS. You could fill in some of those gaps with a unified humanities curriculum, but it’s very difficult to coordinate, there isn’t much curriculum available for it, and it isn’t traditional, which creates a resistance problem. Grump Grump.

    Nic (896fdf)

  16. My niece, who somehow got admitted to BYU, didn’t even know where New England was!

    To be fair, you don’t need to know that to get to BYU.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  17. I had the good fortune of receiving a lost textbook disvovered in the park across a street from my childhood home and Chicago Vocational HS- Men and Nations from my uncle at age 7, so I was primed for Modern World History (HS Fr.) and AP European History (Sr, got a 5) by the time I hot to High School (Kenwood, up the road in Hyde Park).

    urbanleftbehind (80cf8d)

  18. Grump Grump.

    Just one damned thing after another…

    Dave (1bb933)

  19. Iran and the Palestinians:

    ….Once again, Arab leaders are signaling to the Palestinians that they have grown tired of what they see as Palestinian rejectionism and obduracy, and also that they would very much like to be partners with Israel in high-tech development and in the fight against Iran. …..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 9/16/2020 @ 5:14 pm

    There are no losers in a peace accord like this – just pissed off Iranians and Democrats.

    Hoi Polloi (dc4124)

  20. The arab leaders have been content not to integrate the palestinians into their ranks hence these wretched camps remain.

    If people can learn 57 genders they can learn about the holocaust.

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  21. Uninvolved parents, public schools and teachers unions….they’re fan-tastic!!

    harkin (820d1b)

  22. Kenwood, up the road in Hyde Park”
    __ _

    The Kenwood of Leopold & Loeb?
    _

    harkin (820d1b)

  23. @20 I’ll take “other things we don’t teach in schools for $200, Alex.”

    @21 The teacher’s union is not stopping kids from learning about the holocaust. The union has basically nothing to do with graduation requirements.

    Nic (896fdf)

  24. My niece, who somehow got admitted to BYU, didn’t even know where New England was!

    To be fair, you don’t need to know that to get to BYU.

    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 9/16/2020 @ 5:59 pm

    Ha! And here I thought nk was the joker.

    norcal (a5428a)

  25. We have family friends who graduated from BYU. It is a fine school, and my congratulations to Kevin’s niece for being admitted. The last time I looked, it required a recommendation from your church, and the “no coffee or tobacco” policy is not something I could possibly have borne while in college.

    And I don’t know why anybody should be surprised by the numbers Dana posted or their locales.

    nk (1d9030)

  26. Yes, Harkin.

    urbanleftbehind (80cf8d)

  27. The joke’s on you, nk! It was MY niece who is attending BYU, not Kevin’s. Kevin was responding to me!

    I’m glad you think that BYU is a fine school, because I am an alumnus! It’s much harder to get into now than when I attended, probably because Mormons around the world want their kids to go there, and there are many more Mormons now (some 16 million) than there were in the 80s. My mom and I still wonder how my niece got in, because her younger sister did NOT get in, and the younger sister used to help the older sister with her homework!

    We suspect it was the essay part of her application, wherein she stated she wanted to attend BYU (coming from Texas) so that she could care for her grandmother (my mom) who lives in Provo. Somebody in the admissions office probably swooned at that sentiment. Regardless, she got in, and she lived with my mom during her freshman year. There was very little “caring” from her, however. It was more of my mom caring and cooking for her. This was when my mom discovered that my niece didn’t know where New England was!

    In fact, my niece gave my mom some grief. My niece is a Molly Mormon, which means she’s very strict about her Mormonism. When she returned from her 1.5 year Mormon mission in Washington state, she wouldn’t even give her father a hug, because that would entail her boobs touching him! I am not making this up!

    One Sunday, my mom was doing my niece a favor by driving her up to Salt Lake to see some relatives on her father’s side. My mom stopped to get gas, whereupon my niece told her that she shouldn’t be purchasing gasoline on Sunday!

    You are so right about the prohibited substances, nk! While dating my future wife, she turned me on to iced tea. I loved it, but felt so decadent when I would drink it! I used to wait until my housemates went to bed to break out my tea, because I didn’t want to get reported to the “Honor Code Office”. (I eventually ended up there, but that’s a different story.)

    At BYU, students AND faculty are forbidden from consuming tea, coffee, alcohol, and tobacco. I like to say that Joseph Smith got one out of four right!

    (Did I just channel Gawain’s Ghost? Yes I did, and I hope he takes it as a compliment, because I enjoy his stories.)

    norcal (a5428a)

  28. It is a fine school, and my congratulations to Kevin’s niece for being admitted.

    Not my neice, and yes it’s a fine school. But you literally do not need to know where New England is to get make your way to BYU. Unless maybe you’re coming from Newfoundland by car.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  29. At BYU, students AND faculty are forbidden from consuming tea, coffee, alcohol, and tobacco. I like to say that Joseph Smith got one out of four right!

    You’d be surprised at the number of Mormons in AA. They’re finally getting one out of four right.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  30. @29 Funny, Kevin! Perhaps my mom should have told her that BYU was in Newfoundland. Then she might have learned where New England is!

    I know it might sound like I’m capping on my niece, but my mom and I love her even in all her Mollyness and concomitant ignorance.

    JVW’s “clueless, adorable niece” comes to mind.

    norcal (a5428a)

  31. I am duly corrected. Congratulations to your niece, norcal.

    nk (1d9030)

  32. @30 Those are what we call Jack Mormons, Kevin. And by “one out of four right” I was referring tobacco, not alcohol!

    Even so, perhaps I should change it to one and a half right. For those who have trouble with alcohol, it’s best to avoid it. Fortunately, I’m not one of them, and have come to enjoy beer and wine, much to the horror of my mother, who is afraid I’ll turn into an alcoholic at any minute.

    I’ve even thought of starting my own whiskey label called “Jack Mormon”, but there are two issues with that. One, I’d probably get sued by the church. Two, some people might get the idea that it’s a non-alcoholic whiskey!

    By the way, I had to do the hiding thing with my dad at one point. Before he visited, I hid my beer in the crisper part of the refrigerator. Stories from the Mormon underground!

    norcal (a5428a)

  33. For the longest time I thought Jack Mormons were those who still adhered to polygamy. You know, jack => male donkey => stud.

    nk (1d9030)

  34. @34 Well, that’s one way to look at it!

    I think the first Jack Mormons may have been the ones who went with Brigham Young across the plains to Utah, and then decided to keep on going to California once gold was discovered.

    norcal (a5428a)

  35. “Yes, Harkin.”

    I still kick myself for not visiting the neighborhood and the related areas when I worked a project in Chicago.

    When I was young I read about five or six books on the case. The interrogations of the suspects are among the most fascinating in the history of crime, and the only lead at first was a pair of eyeglasses.
    _

    harkin (820d1b)

  36. My niece is a Molly Mormon
    norcal (a5428a) — 9/16/2020 @ 9:20 pm

    Don’t despair. A friend of mine came out of BYU believing gays and lesbians shouldn’t be allowed to teach school. By 2016 he was voting for Hillary.

    Send her to California. We can turn anyone into a Godless sodomite. I’m pretty sure that’s on the state seal.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  37. It’s hard for kids today to learn about the Holocaust, especially in college what with the fancy gyms, lazy rivers, and Starbucks on campus.

    Hoi Polloi (dc4124)

  38. THat’s a quite deceptive summary of the study perpetrated by The Guardian. For instance, virtually everyone knew that a whole bunch of Jewish people were killed. The problem is the exact number.

    JRM (c80289)

  39. Was reminded of the controversy back in the 90’s when some students thought Schindler’s List was a comedy:

    “ On Jan. 17, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, school was closed and a science teacher offered to take 70 high school students to see the Holocaust movie “Schindler’s List,” although they begged to see “House Party 3.” When a trip to the ice-skating rink was thrown in to sweeten the deal, they accepted.

    But the field trip ended abruptly when theater patrons complained that some of the Castlemont High School students, most of whom are black, had laughed at a scene in which a Nazi soldier casually shoots a Jewish woman. The theater owner stopped the projector, turned on the lights and told the students to leave.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/1994/04/13/us/laughter-at-film-brings-spielberg-visit.html
    _

    harkin (820d1b)

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