Two-thirds of Americans between the ages of 18-34 years old cannot say what Auschwitz was, according to a study released Thursday by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. Twenty-two percent of Millennials had not heard of the Holocaust at all.
Forty-one percent of American adults as a whole haven’t heard of the Poland-based Jewish extermination camp, and 41 percent of Millennials thought 2 million or fewer Jews were murdered during the Holocaust, according to the study that was released on Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Auschwitz was the largest concentration camp built by the Nazis in their mission to wipe out the Jews and other groups. At least 1.1 million people were killed in the camp, according to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Devout Jew and conservative commentator Ben Shapiro called the study’s results “troubling.”
“This is troubling stuff,” he wrote for The Daily Wire on Thursday. “It’s also informative, because it helps explain just why younger Americans seem so comfortable embracing identity politics and large, intrusive government. If you’d never heard of the genocide of the Jews by an all-encompassing state focused laserlike on race-based differences between people, you might be warmer to the notion that racial hierarchies in politics ought to exist.”
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) April 12, 2018
The study also found that 70 percent of Americans say fewer people seem to care about the Holocaust than they used to, and over half believe something like the Holocaust could happen again.
Shapiro also argued that these results highlight the importance of teaching history in public schools.
“This is just one reason why teaching of history in America’s public schools matters so much,” he wrote. “But that teaching in recent decades has revolved not around signal events in world history, but around the revisionist histories of Leftist advocates like Howard Zinn, who focus in tremendous detail on the sins of America without spelling out the true history of alternatives to the American way throughout the 20th century.”
American adults overwhelming agree with Shapiro’s assessment, according to the study.
“Virtually all US adults (93%) believe all students should learn about the Holocaust in school and 80% say it is important to keep teaching about the Holocaust so it does not happen again,” the study states.
Over half of Americans also agree that lessons about the Holocaust could be improved.
There was a strong reaction to the study’s results on Twitter, with many railing against the apparent failures of the public education system.
I know we've all grown numb to these "Polls show that Millennials are idiots" kinds of stories, but this one really is just absolutely insane. 22 percent have never heard of the Holocaust??
Our education system is truly a catastrophic failure. https://t.co/fJiOWpMlyS
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) April 12, 2018
It’s incomprehensible that 41% of Americans & 66% of millennials can’t say what Auschwitz was. Only 39% know Hitler was democratically elected.
— Trinity (@TrinityResists) April 12, 2018
— PragerU (@prageru) April 12, 2018
66% of millennials don't know what Auschwitz was.
And Democrats claim our public schools systems WORK?!
— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) April 12, 2018
The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.
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