A Jewish group that commissioned a survey on Holocaust awareness in the Netherlands said Wednesday that the results showed "a disturbing lack of awareness of key historical facts about the Holocaust" in the nation that was home to Anne Frank and her family. The survey commissioned by the New York-based Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany found that the number of respondents who believe the Holocaust is a myth was higher than in any of the other five nations previously surveyed, reports the AP:
- 23% of adults under age 40 and 12% of all respondents indicated they believed the Holocaust was a myth or that the number of Jews killed has been greatly exaggerated.
- 54% of all respondents—and 59% of those under age 40—do not know that 6 million Jews were murdered. Some 29% believe that the figure is 2 million or fewer.
- 53% of those surveyed do not cite the Netherlands as a country where the Holocaust took place. NBC News notes the figure was 60% among those under 40.
- 22% of respondents could identify Westerbork, a transit camp in the eastern Netherlands where Jews, including Anne Frank, were sent before being deported. The camp is now a museum and commemoration site.
"Not only is this downright shocking, it’s very serious," Dutch Justice Minister Dilan Yesilgöz-Zegerius said on Twitter. "As a society, we have a lot of work to do. And fast, too." Gideon Taylor, the president of the group behind the survey, said in a statement that "to address this trend, we must put a greater focus on Holocaust education in our schools globally. If we do not, denial will soon outweigh knowledge, and future generations will have no exposure to the critical lessons of the Holocaust."
Of the 140,000 Jews who lived in the Netherlands before World War II, 102,000 were killed during the Holocaust. Another 2,000 Jewish refugees in the country also were killed in the genocide. (Anne Frank's best friend died in November at age 93.)