Survey Finds Awareness of Major Holocaust Fact Is Lacking

52% of UK respondents didn't know how many Jews were murdered
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 10, 2021 11:06 AM CST
Survey Finds Awareness of Major Holocaust Fact Is Lacking
A general view of the so-called Holocaust Memorial, a memorial for the murdered Jews of Europe, is seen in Berlin.   (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)

A survey released Wednesday found what organizers say is a lack of awareness in Britain about the Holocaust and a major episode in the country's rescue of Jews ahead of World War II, reports the AP. The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, a New York-based group that negotiates restitution for Holocaust victims, said that 52% of respondents surveyed in the UK didn't know that 6 million Jews were murdered by the Nazis. More than 1 in 5, or 22%, thought 2 million or fewer Jews were killed.

"We are very concerned to see the profound gaps in knowledge of the Holocaust in this and previous studies, including about events connected to the UK," said Gideon Taylor, president of the group, which is commonly known as the Claims Conference. The Guardian expands on Taylor's latter point, reporting that 67% of survey participants thought their government permitted all or some Jewish immigration; none was allowed from the outbreak of the war onward. Almost 10,000 Jewish child refugees were brought to Britain between 1938 and 1939 as part of the Kindertransport effort, however, but 76% didn't know what Kindertransport was.

The survey was released to coincide with the 83rd anniversary of Kristallnacht, or "Night of Broken Glass," when Nazis terrorized Jews in a series of pogroms throughout Germany and Austria. The Claims Conference has conducted similar surveys in several countries, including the US, France, Austria, and Canada. The figures from the UK appeared to be largely in line with those of the other countries. In France, some 57% of respondents didn't know 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust. In the UK survey, 32% were unable to name a concentration camp or ghetto, besting the 48% of Americans who were unable to do so in a 2020 survey by the group.

(More Holocaust stories.)

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