Rivlin leads 'March of the Living' in Poland on Holocaust Remembrance Day

Posted April 13, 2018

In Poland on Thursday, thousands of young Jews from around the world are set to march from the Auschwitz to Birkenau death camps in Poland on Thursday to commemorate the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust.

The study, which was commissioned by The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and conducted by Schoen Consulting, also found that 11 percent of US adults overall haven't heard of the Holocaust or aren't sure if they did. A majority, 58 percent, said they believe something like the Holocaust could happen again.

Also, while the vast majority of historians believe that approximately six million Jews were exterminated in the Holocaust, almost one-third of all Americans (31%) and more than four-in-ten Millennials (41%) believe that only two million Jews or fewer were killed in the Holocaust.

A new, comprehensive national survey of Holocaust awareness and knowledge among adults in the United States, released on the occasion of Holocaust Remembrance Day by Schoen Consulting on behalf of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference), found that more than half of Americans believe that the Holocaust could happen again.

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Additionally, 41 percent of millennials believe two million Jews or less were killed during the Holocaust.

In a speech in on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day on Wednesday, Rivlin cemented that "no country can or should legislate the forgetting of Jews murdered during the Holocaust", apparently referring to the controversial law.

More than 100,000 others including non-Jewish Poles, Roma, Soviet prisoners of war and anti-Nazi resistance fighters also died there, according to the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum. Forty-nine percent of millennials were unable to name a single concentration camp or ghetto, compared to 45 percent of all adults.

Further, large numbers of respondents believe that there is anti-Semitism in the US today (68 percent) and that there are many neo-Nazis in the USA (34 percent).

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Claims Conference President Julius Berman said it is "vital to open a dialogue on the state of Holocaust awareness so that the lessons learned inform the next generation".

"We came here today to send a clear message to the world against anti-Semitism and in support of teaching the memory of the Holocaust to future generations", Danon said in a statement from the march.

Greg Schneider, executive vice president of the Claims Conference, said, "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".

The study on Holocaust awareness and knowledge in the US was conducted between February 23 and 27 and involved 1,350 interviews with American adults 18 and older.

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Poland was once home to Europe's largest Jewish population, numbering around three million people, or 10 percent of the population in 1939.