Nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults aged 18-39 don’t know how many Jews were killed in the Holocaust
But I wonder how much of this result is due to some special historical blind spot about the Holocaust and how much is due to the more basic fact that, ah, a lot of Americans are ignoramuses about history generally.
How many millennials and Zoomers are up to speed on the basics of *everything else* about World War II? How many know who attacked whom at Pearl Harbor? Which countries were involved in D-Day? What “Fat Man” and “Little Boy” were? How the Soviet Union ended up being drawn into the war?
I don’t think this is a “Young Americans have tuned out the Holocaust” story so much as a “Young Americans have been poorly educated to a shocking degree” story. Which is reassuring in the sense that ignorance about the Holocaust probably — for the most part — isn’t being driven by anti-semitism, but terrifying in that it means the well of general ignorance runs deeper than we fear.
Almost a quarter of respondents (23%) said they believed the Holocaust was a myth, or had been exaggerated, or they weren’t sure. One in eight (12%) said they had definitely not heard, or didn’t think they had heard, about the Holocaust…
Nationally, 63% of respondents did not know 6 million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust, and more than one in three (36%) thought 2 million or fewer had been killed.
Eleven per cent of respondents across the US believed that Jews had caused the Holocaust, with the proportion in New York state at 19%, followed by 16% in Louisiana, Tennessee and Montana, and 15% in Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Nevada and New Mexico.