New survey finds critical gaps in Holocaust knowledge in Canada
Naomi Azrieli, Chair and CEO of the Azrieli Foundation and Julius Berman, President of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference), jointly announced the release of a comprehensive Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness Survey of adults in Canada.
Similar to the April 2018 survey in the United States, the Canadian study found critical gaps regarding awareness of basic historical facts and detailed knowledge of the Holocaust. For example, 54% of those surveyed did not know that 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust.
Major findings from the survey include:
- 22% of millennials (ages 18 – 34) haven’t heard or are not sure if they have heard of the Holocaust
- An alarming 52% of millennials cannot name even one concentration camp or ghetto and 62% of millennials did not know that 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust.
- Nearly one quarter of all Canadians (23%) believe that substantially less than 6 million Jews were killed (two million or fewer) during the Holocaust, while another near-quarter (24%) were unsure of how many were killed.
- Nearly 6 out of 10 Canadians (57%) say fewer people seem to care about the Holocaust than they used to.
A task force that comprised Holocaust survivors, representatives from Holocaust museums, educational institutions, and leading nonprofits in the field of Holocaust education helped develop the survey questions. Participants in the task force included: the Azrieli Foundation, Yad Vashem, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Claims Conference.
Significant gaps in knowledge about the Holocaust that are revealed by the survey include:
- While there were over 40,000 camps and ghettos in Europe during the Holocaust, 49% of Canadian respondents couldn’t name a single camp or ghetto, similar to the U.S. study, where 45% could not name one such place.
- 32% of respondents believed that Canada had an open immigration policy for any Jewish refugees fleeing Europe. In reality, Canada had one of the worst records of any democracy, allowing only 5,000 Jewish refugees into the country.