Flemming: International Holocaust Remembrance Day finds Vermonters surprisingly uninformed

By David Flemming

January 27, was International Holocaust Remembrance Day. According to a 2020 study from the Claims Conference, an alarming number of individuals from age 18 to 39 know little about the Holocaust, and young Vermonters are little different in this regard. The Claims Conference has advocated for Jewish Holocaust survivors since 1951, distributing $90 billion in compensation.

The study looked at what young individuals in the US (broken down by state), the UK, France, Austria and Canada believed about the Holocaust.  Some highlights:

  • 42% of young Vermonters can’t name a concentration camp, death camp or ghetto; 29% of young Vermonters did not know what Auschwitz was when asked.
  • 29% of young Vermonters believe 2 million or fewer Jews were killed; 65% of young Vermonters did not know that 6 million Jews were killed.
  • 43% of young Vermonters have seen Holocaust denial or distortion on social media or elsewhere online.
  • 52% of young Vermonters have seen Nazi symbols on social media platforms they have visited in the past 5 years.
  • Perhaps most disturbingly, 7% of young Vermonters think Jews “caused the Holocaust.” This is actually below the US average of 11%.

This 2020 study mirrors a more informal survey which found that 1 in 3 American & Canadian teenagers think Holocaust reporting is inaccurate. According to the survey released a few days ago, around a third of Canadian and American students question whether the Holocaust actually happened. The survey was commissioned by Liberation75, a Canadian organization committed to Holocaust education and remembrance. More than 3,000 students in grades 6-12 were surveyed before a two-day virtual Holocaust education conference. “One in three of our respondents stated that they believed that the Holocaust was fabricated or not reported in a way that was accurate to what actually happened,” said Alex Lerner, researcher and assistant professor of political science at the U.S. Naval Academy.

1 in 10 young Americans believes that the Holocaust never happened, while 23% think the number of those killed has been exaggerated.

Despite the thousands spent on educating each Vermont student, there are clearly important gaps in knowledge. There are few parts in history more important than describing what led from the slow buildup of the Nazi National Socialist German Workers’ Party to the Holocaust.

As Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel remarked in his book Night “for the dead and the living, we must bear witness.”

David Flemming is a policy analyst for the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Tiia Monto

10 thoughts on “Flemming: International Holocaust Remembrance Day finds Vermonters surprisingly uninformed

  1. The movie Swing Kids from 1993 depicts Germany just prior to WW2. Hitler youth brigades were taught to squeal on groups of teen clubs that secretly gathered to play forbidden Swing music which had been made illegal. The movie gives great insight into how families would turn in members of their family and the destruction of freedom of the German public too afraid to stand up to the Nazis. It’s a good movie, watch it to see parallels of what the commenters are saying here.

      • The kids are doing this today here.
        They rat out their own parents in schools for “abuse”, the schools call the state child services.
        I don’t know what they call them in VT.
        In NH they are called DCYF – (division of children, youth, families, I think that’s it)
        This is going on to such a huge degree now Dano that this agency is clogged up and a mess.. I’m sure this is the case in Vermont too.
        So yeah, we are there and it’s been going on for a long time.

        You wonder why kids are such a mess today?
        It’s because parents can’t even discipline their own kids because they live in fear of this stuff happening to their family..

  2. How con-veeeeeen-yent… the dumbing down of America…Edward Bernays Nightmare alive and well in Vermont, aiding and abetting Marxism.

  3. It’s important to remember the Holocaust because the same thing is happening today.

    Yes, I know, there are no concentration camps or ovens today. The comparison is to the years 1931-33, not to the death camp era that emerged later. As Naomi Wolf states:

    “… during these years [1931-33], mass societal cruelty, and a two-tier society itself that perpetuated this cruelty, was built up and policed, as like today, by polite civil society institutions tasked with snarling and baring its teeth.

    “Casual, escalating cruelty, a culture of degradation of the ‘othered,’ and a two-tier society, were built up in those years certainly at the behest of Nazi social policy. But the construction of a world of evil out of what had been a modern civil society, if a fragile one, was also endorsed and even policed by doctors, by medical associations, by journalists, by famous composers and filmmakers, by universities; by neighbors, by teachers, by shopkeepers — for years before the death camp guards were tasked with their own far more heinous cruelty.” https://naomiwolf.substack.com/p/compartmentalization-bureaucratization

    Liberty and tolerance slowly disappeared from Germany in the years 1931-33. Intolerance and restrictions incrementally built up. In many ways, liberty and tolerance are disappearing from America. Importantly, this disappearance had been enabled in Germany by the arrival of a “science” of eugenics, which loomed large in German thought and served as justification for intolerance. So too, today, we have a “science” of Covid treatment that’s science turned upside-down– a fabricated science that’s pushed its way to the surface through widespread censorship and propaganda– that enables and justifies intolerance.

    The more I learn of Nazi Germany the more I’m horrified. The same exact thing is happening today if we compare the years 1931-33 to the years 2020-2022.

  4. It’s more important to get the pronouns correct and to not discriminate against the idiots called ‘furries’, who self-identify as animals.

    Our schools have to waste time deciding if ‘furries’ should be allowed to have litter boxes in schools.

    Given these facts, do you ever believe your polling results will improve unless common sense takes control of the schools from the socialists currently in charge?

  5. Now lets talk about what they Do Know:
    Transgenderism- just remove your plumbing at will.
    Climate change will kill us all.
    We’re all a buncha low down dirty racists.
    Pedophilia and abortions are just fine and dandy.

    What a world we have now.. sheesh.

  6. But just ask all those kids about the ‘1619 Project’ and CRT. It would be hilarious if it were not so serious an issue.
    I’ll bet not one of those who were ignorant of the holocaust were homeschooled kids.

  7. I do not know who George Santayana was, but his comment that “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” is more apt today than ever. The knowledge and reasoning powers (or lack thereof) of our children is a direct product of the education monopoly. This is the result. Ignorant kids with no defense against the harshness of society’s realities that they will inevitably be confronted with in their future.

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