A comprehensive Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness Survey of adults in Canada released on Thursday found that—much like the April 2018 survey conducted on the same issues in the United States—there are 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.
The survey was released jointly by Naomi Azrieli, Chair and CEO of the Azrieli Foundation, and Julius Berman, President of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference).
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.
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.
While a significant majority of Canadian adults believe that fewer people care about the Holocaust today than they used to, there was a broad-based consensus for providing comprehensive Holocaust education in schools across the country. 82% of respondents believe all students should learn about the Holocaust in school, while 85% said it is important to keep teaching about the Holocaust so that it does not happen again.