New Zealand: a high level of ignorance about the Holocaust

August 7, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The results of a poll released today reveal a disconcerting level of ignorance and uncertainty about the Holocaust in New Zealand, including that only 32% of those aged under 30 know the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust.

Perhaps this is not surprising, given the lack of widespread education about the Holocaust in New Zealand, the proliferation of Holocaust revisionism and antisemitic conspiracy theories on the internet, and the dwindling number of survivors and those who can bear witness to this blight on history and humanity.

A statement fro The New Zealand Jewish Council reads: “Given the frightening increase in antisemitism and racism around the world, and as we recall the horrific events of 15 Marchand other incidents of white supremacist terrorism in recent times, it seems that the need for more Holocaust education in schools is greater than ever. We urge those with the power to facilitate this, to consider doing so.”

The Holocaust Centre of New Zealand is also concerned about the apparent lack of knowledge New Zealanders have about the Holocaust, as revealed in a recent poll, undertaken by the Holocaust Memorial Trust, Auckland.

More than 1000 people were surveyed throughout the nation with over 70% having “little” or“no knowledge” of the Holocaust.

The survey included asking participants “How many Jews were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators during the Holocaust?” to which 57% were not able to identify the correct number of six million.

The Holocaust Centre of New Zealand (HCNZ) has been actively engaged in Holocaust education for over 12 years. This includes addressing thousands of students and sending over 90 teachers overseas to learn about the Holocaust and how to deliver education on the Holocaust in NZ classrooms.

HCNZ has also been part of an initiative where schools sign up to commit themselves to teaching at least an hour of Holocaust education per year; this campaign encourages schools to contact HCNZ to register their interest and access support and guidance to teach the topic.

Findings, such as that derived from this survey are troublesome.

HCNZ CEO, Chris Harris said: “If we do not learn about the Holocaust, how do we take the lessons of this tragedy and make changes for today, in a world experiencing a rise in antisemitism, xenophobia, prejudice and discrimination.

The poll was undertaken by The Curia Market Research.

 

Comments

One Response to “New Zealand: a high level of ignorance about the Holocaust”
  1. Fay Davies says:

    I am in the UK and I have found that even some non-Jewish people here whom I have considered quite sensible seem to minimise the holocaust. They are not Holocaust Deniers, but I call them Holocaust Minimisers. One of these told me she did not agree with Israel because the Jews invaded and took over. When I said it was a UN decision in 1947 she said, Oh yes America. I told her the details even saying that Britain abstained because of the Mandate. She said, Don’t tell me about that, I had an uncle there’. Whilst I acknowledge there were some Jewish ‘terrorists’ I said these people were desperate for somewhere to go after the war,living in DP camps etc. She just said many people were displaced after the war, but they didn’t take over another country.
    Obvious no idea of the historic detail and severity and its aftermath

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