Survey reveals lack of Holocaust awareness in Netherlands

the hague – A Jewish group commissioned a survey of Holocaust awareness in the Netherlands said Wednesday the findings showed a “disturbing lack of awareness of key historical facts about the Holocaust,” prompting calls to write in diarist Anne Frank. Frank’s home country for a better education and her family.

The survey, commissioned by the New York-based Jewish Conference on Material Claims Against Germany, found that the number of respondents who believed the Holocaust was a myth was higher than in any of the other five countries previously surveyed, with 23% of adults aged Under the age of 40, 12 percent of respondents believed that the Holocaust was a myth or that the number of Jews killed was greatly exaggerated.

The survey also found that 54 percent of respondents — and 59 percent of those under the age of 40 — were unaware that six million Jews had been murdered. About 29 percent put the figure at 2 million or less.

“It’s horrific,” Max Arpels Lezer, a Dutch survivor whose mother was murdered at Auschwitz, told The Associated Press.

“They should know their country’s history — I think it’s a disgrace that so many Jews were killed during the Holocaust,” he added.

Of the 140,000 Jews living in the Netherlands before World War II, 102,000 were killed in the Holocaust. Another 2,000 Jewish refugees in the Netherlands were also killed in the genocide.

Despite that brutal history, 53% of respondents did not list the Netherlands as a country where the Holocaust occurred. Only 22 percent of all respondents could identify Westerbork, a transit camp in the eastern Netherlands where Jews, including Anne Frank, were sent before being deported. The camp is now a museum and memorial site.

The survey found that 60 percent of respondents had not visited the Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam – where Anne, her sister, parents and four other Jews were discovered and subsequently deported from 1942 to August 1944.

Anne and her sister Margot died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Of the eight Jews hiding in a secret annex in Amsterdam, only Anne’s father Otto survived the Holocaust.

Eddo Verdoner, the Dutch national coordinator for the fight against anti-Semitism, said in a statement that “a shocking 23 percent of millennials and Gen Z believe that the Holocaust is either a myth or exaggerated.”

The finding, he said, “suggests a growing gap in knowledge and awareness. We must do better in our schools, wherever we find misrepresentations of the Holocaust.”

More than three-quarters (77%) of respondents said it was important to continue teaching about the Holocaust, in part to prevent its recurrence, while 66% agreed that Holocaust education should be required in schools .

“Investigation after investigation, we continue to witness a decline in Holocaust knowledge and awareness. Equally disturbing is the trend of Holocaust denial and misrepresentation,” Claims Conference chair Gideon Taylor said in a statement.

“To counter this trend, we must pay greater attention to Holocaust education in schools around the world. If we do not, denial will soon outstrip knowledge, and future generations will be deprived of the important lessons of the Holocaust.”

Only half of those polled said they supported the Dutch leader’s recent speech acknowledging and apologizing for the country’s failure to protect Jews during the Holocaust. Among respondents under the age of 40, that number dropped to 44%.

Three years ago, Prime Minister Mark Rutte Apologize Officials in Nazi-occupied countries during World War II failed to do more to prevent Jewish deportations and murders. In 2021, he opened a holocaust memorial in Amsterdam. At the time, Rutte called the era “a black page in the history of our country” and said the monument also conveyed an important contemporary message, “In our time, anti-Semitism has never been far away. The monument says – no, It’s screaming – stay alert.”

A Holocaust museum is scheduled to open next year near the monument.

The survey, which has a margin of error of 2 percent, involved interviews in December with 2,000 Dutch adults aged 18 and over across the Netherlands. Claims Conference Negotiates Compensation for Holocaust Victims.

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