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Holocaust Ignorance

Ebensee concentration camp prisoners 1945
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Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

Students and others chanting in the streets to support Hamas often do not even understand what the slogans mean. Last month, I cited a survey done by a professor at the University of California, Berkeley who hired a survey team to poll 250 students.

He found that less than half (47%) of the students who chanted the slogan (From the River to the Sea) were able to name the river and the sea. Some of the alternative answers were the Nile and the Euphrates, the Caribbean, the Dead Sea, and the Atlantic. These students obviously need an education, which apparently isn’t being provided in the public schools.

You might criticize the survey since it was a small sample and only focused on current politics and geography. That is why I wanted to devote the rest of my commentary to the most extensive survey done in recent years about the Holocaust.

A few years ago, the Conference of Jewish Material Claims Against Germany conducted a survey in all 50 states to document what younger Americans (under age 40) knew about the Holocaust. They found that two-thirds (63%) did not know that 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust. In fact, over half of them thought the death toll was fewer than 2 million.

They also found that half (48%) of the younger generation could not name a single one of the more than 40,000 concentration camps or ghettos established by the Nazi government. Even more shocking was the fact that a small percentage (10%) did not recall ever having heard the word “holocaust” before. And if that is not shocking enough, they also found a small percentage (11%) who believed that Jews caused the Holocaust!

The obvious implication of all of this is that we need to teach history and geography in the public schools, including the horrible facts about the Holocaust.viewpoints new web version

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