Majority of California’s young adults don’t know 6 million Jews were killed in Holocaust


LONDON – DECEMBER 9: Auschwitz survivor Mr. Leon Greenman, prison number 98288, displays his number tattoo on December 9, 2004 at the Jewish Museum in London, England. Mr. Greenman O.B.E age 93 and a British citizen, spent three years of his life in six different concentration camps during World War II and since 1946 he has tirelessly recounted his life through his personal exhibition at the museum where he conducts educational events to all age groups. January 2005 will be the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the extermination and concentration camps, when survivors and victims who suffered as a result of the Holocaust will commemorated across the world. (Photo by Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA/KRON) – Nearly two-thirds of United States residents under the age of 40 don’t know that 6 million Jewish people were killed in the Holocaust, a new survey found.

In one of the most comprehensive studies of American understanding of the Holocaust, some of the most important details of the genocide were lost among young adults in the United States.

After interviewing 11,000 people nationwide and 200 interviews in each state with adults ages 18 to 39 through phone and online interviews, historians and experts with the Claims Conference found that 63% of those interviewed did not know 6 million Jews were murdered.

Instead, 36% of the Millennial and Gen Z respondents thought that 2 million or fewer Jews were murdered. More than 1 in 10 respondents claim having never heard the word “Holocaust” before.

The states with the highest Holocaust knowledge scores included Wisconsin, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Maine, Kansas, and Nebraska.

Here are some of the other statistics found in the survey:

  • Nationally, 48 percent of U.S. Millennial and Gen Z could not name a single one of the more than 40,000 concentration camps or ghettos established during World War II. 
  •  63 percent of Millennials and Gen Z did not know six million Jews were murdered
  • 11 percent of U.S. Millennial and Gen Z respondents believe Jews caused the Holocaust
  • Approximately half (49 percent) of U.S. Millennials and Gen Z have seen Holocaust denial or distortion posts on social media or elsewhere online

“The most important lesson is that we can’t lose any more time,” said Greg Schneider, executive vice president of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, which commissioned the study. “If we let these trends continue for another generation, the crucial lessons from this terrible part of history could be lost.”

For more on the survey and methodology, click here.

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