New Survey by Claims Conference Finds Significant Lack of Holocaust Knowledge in the United States

On the occasion of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) has released a comprehensive national survey of Holocaust awareness and knowledge among adults in the United States.

The survey found there are critical gaps both in awareness of basic facts as well as detailed knowledge of the Holocaust, and there is a broad-based consensus that schools must be responsible for providing comprehensive Holocaust education. In addition, a significant majority of American adults believe that fewer people care about the Holocaust today than they used to, and more than half of Americans believe that the Holocaust could happen again.

Major findings of the survey include:

  • 22% of millennials haven’t heard or are not sure if they have heard of the Holocaust
  • 41% of millennials and 31% overall believe less than 2 million were killed Jews in the Holocaust
  • 70% of Americans say fewer people seem to care about the Holocaust as much as they used to
  • 58% believe something like the Holocaust could happen again
  • 15% of U.S. adults believe people should be allowed to use Nazi slogans or symbols

Claims Conference President Julius Berman noted, “On the occasion of Yom HaShoah, it is vital to open a dialogue on the state of Holocaust awareness so that the lessons learned inform the next generation. We are alarmed that today’s generation lacks some of the basic knowledge about these atrocities.”

“This study underscores the importance of Holocaust education in our schools,” added Greg Schneider, Executive Vice President of the Claims Conference. “There remain troubling gaps in Holocaust awareness while survivors are still with us; imagine when there are no longer survivors here to tell their stories. We must be committed to ensuring the horrors of the Holocaust and the memory of those who suffered so greatly are remembered, told and taught by future generations.”

The Report’s Executive Summary is available here.

The Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness Study was commissioned by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. Data was collected and analyzed by Schoen Consulting with a representative sample of 1350 American adults via landline, cell-phone, and online interviews. Respondents were selected at random and constituted a demographically representative sample of the adult population in the United States.