News

Nearly a quarter of young people in America think the Holocaust was a myth, survey finds

Nationwide survey finds a quarter of young Americans believe the Holocaust was a myth or that the six million Jewish deaths were greatly exaggerated.

There are some conspiracy theories out there that make you think: “Who really believes this?” Well, when it comes to the Holocaust, a new survey has shown that a quarter of young Americans are in denial.

A large fraction of Americans aged between 18 and 39 somehow remain ignorant to what is perhaps the most publicly documented crime against humanity of the 20th century.

holocaust, holocaust denial, auschwitz, nazi germany, conspiracy theories,

The 50-state survey on Holocaust knowledge conducted by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany uncovered some hugely disturbing findings.

While Holocaust denial is generally viewed as a joke in seriously poor taste, it seems that there are people out there who really do believe that the Jewish genocide is a myth or that the six million Jewish deaths have been greatly exaggerated. In fact, 23% of Gen Z and millennial Americans think exactly that.

One in 10 believed the Holocaust never took place, and 12% claimed they had never even heard the word ‘Holocaust’ before.

Concerningly, the study also found that the spread of the conspiracy theories across social media has increased significantly, with 49% of respondents claiming to have come across the denial theory on social media, and 11% even blaming Jews for the Holocaust itself.

Gideon Taylor, President of the Claims Conference, described: “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.”

We need to understand why we aren’t doing better in educating a younger generation about the Holocaust and the lessons of the past,” he continued. “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 state-by-state survey consisted of 200 interviews in each state, and an additional 1,000 interviews nationwide. It was carried out in order to find a Holocaust ‘knowledge score’ by state, finding that 63% were unaware that six million Jews had been killed in the genocide.

While the survey certainly shows a lack of education amongst young Americans on the topic, it also showcases the harmful spread of conspiracy theories on social media platforms.

Last month, a study conducted by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue found that Facebook’s own recommendation algorithm was promoting Holocaust denial content.

With these further findings, the Claims Conference wants Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to remove this content.

Greg Schneider, Conference Vice President said: “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.”

Considering the United States is plagued with anti-maskers who look to deny the severity of a pandemic happening right in front of their eyes, the fact that many deny a genocide that happened almost 80 years ago, while disturbing, shouldn’t come as a shock.