A new survey released shows just how much American history is slowing slipping away. When polled, it was shown that an estimated less than half of Americans today know that the Holocaust happened and that those of the Jewish religion lost their lives.
The survey also showed that those same individuals polled knew about Hitler, by name, as well as the Nazi Party, but they were unknowing of the fact that Hitler came into his power during World War II in Germany, and was the architect of the Holocaust.
On Wednesday, less than a week before the upcoming 75th anniversary of the prisoners detained at Auschwitz, a Nazi death camp, Pew Research Center released the disturbing findings. The survey itself was presented to 1300 Americans and was pretty straight forward. The participants were asks to reply to several multiple-choice questions that pertained to the Holocaust of 1945.
The data obtained was worrisome and concerning. Of those surveyed, only 45 were aware that the Holocaust, nothing short of an attempt at genocide, which resulted in the death of 6 million Jews. On the other hand, of those 1300 surveyed, 29 percent were either not sure how many individuals perished, or offered not to answer at all. Then, 14 percent actually underestimated the number by a considerable amount. Finally, a total of 12 percent completely overestimated the numbers and replied that they thought more than 12 million Jews perished.
Although those surveyed admitted they had at one time or another heard of Hitler, they could not say that they were aware f how Hitler came into his power. There was 43 percent that did answer correctly that his power was obtained through a democratic political process. However, 25 percent were of the thought that the leader of the Nazi’s came into power through the forced overthrowing of the German government, and 28 percent simply stated they were either not sure or had no answer.
Rabbi Alissa Wise stated that it was no surprise and that similar Americans, if surveyed, would most assuredly be unaware and unknowledgeable of other such horrors wrought throughout history. Some of the horrors Wise mentioned included those committed against both Native Americans and the enslaving of Africans. Wise called to attention that as long as white supremacy is allowed to spread across the globe, this study along asserts how little history is being remembered and is forming our understanding of the world we live in today.
Do you believe that history is being forgotten and as a result possibly repeat itself?