September 17, 2020 The former the Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald near Weimar, Germany, Jan. 27, 2020. (AP/Jens Meyer)
Claims Conference study shows lack of knowledge about the Holocaust for American millennials and Gen Zers.
By Joseph Wolkin, World Israel News
The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, also known as the Claims Conference, revealed a shocking study on Wednesday that highlights the lack of knowledge American millennials and Gen Zers have about the Holocaust.
The Claims Conference’s newest study states “that nearly 20 percent of millennials and Gen Z in New York feel the Jews caused the Holocaust.”
New York is one of 15 states to require Holocaust education in schools, but the guidelines for such curricula is vague. Louisiana, Tennessee, Montana, Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Nevada and New Mexico also have 15 to 16 percent of millenial and Gen Zers believing Jews caused the Holocaust.
“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,” Gideon Taylor, president of the Claims Conference, said.
“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.”
The survey found that 63 percent of the aforementioned age groups don’t know that six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis. Thirty-six percent of millennials and Gen Zers actually believe two million or fewer Jews were killed between 1938 and 1945.
The study is the first conducted by the Claims Conference in all 50 states.
“Not only was their overall lack of Holocaust knowledge troubling, but combined with the number of millennials and Gen Z who have seen Holocaust denial on social media, it is clear that we must fight this distortion of history and do all we can to ensure that the social media giants stop allowing this harmful content on their platforms,” Claims Conference Executive Vice President Greg Schneider said.
“Survivors lost their families, friends, homes and communities; we cannot deny their history,” he said.
Forty-eight percent of people surveyed could not name one of the concentration or death camps that the Nazis instituted during the Holocaust.
The Claims Conference found states that require Holocaust education, such as New York, California and Indiana, have higher percentages of younger people believing the Holocaust never happened.
Meanwhile, states without a Holocaust education requirement have the best knowledge, among them being Minnesota, Massachusetts and Wisconsin.
For the study, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany partnered with Schoen Cooperman Research to interview 1,000 people nationwide and 200 interviews per state with people between 18 to 39 years old.