Many young Canadians have no knowledge of the Holocaust.
The published report of a Holocaust remembrance survey brought forward the not-so-surprising result that 47 percent of the respondent Canadian population believes a Nazi problem is now plaguing the United States. The poll was conducted by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) and the Azrieli Foundation. 1,100 Canadians were asked a series of questions on the subjects of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust.
There are a few good reasons to shore up this perception: a number of neo-Nazis received conciliatory treatment from American law enforcement as they went to Washington to attend a rally. Things became so bad that a Holocaust expert was compelled to compare a few U.S. elected officials to Nazi lawmakers in the Hitler regime. To the surprise of many Canadians, a congressman with a clear white supremacist streak was elected by Americans only a few days after a gunman with an anti-Semitic mindset slaughtered devout Jews in Pennsylvania. When it came to Canada itself, only 17 percent of Canadians affirmed the presence of neo-Nazis in their country.
The survey also revealed another disturbing trend: a growing number of Canadians have inadequate knowledge of Nazis and the Holocaust. They are unaware of concentration camps and are completely in the dark about the millions of Jews who were purposefully annihilated a few years before and during the Second World War. The result is truly alarming: about half of the young adults polled aged between 18 years to 34 years were unable to name a single ghetto or concentration camp at the time of the Holocaust. A total of 293 young adults were surveyed, and a shocking 22 percent were partially or totally ignorant about the Holocaust.The findings of the survey were released a little in advance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27. The study offered insight on how Canadians compare themselves to the United States on issues which matter. Canadians believe that a much larger number of neo-Nazis are present in the United States compared to Canada. The survey answers a few vital clues to educators about the subjects they should teach to their children. Schoen Consulting was tasked with conducting the survey in Canada. According to Richelle Budd Caplan, director of European Department of International School for Holocaust Studies located in Jerusalem, such fundamental knowledge about the Holocaust must be common.
The Claims Conference identifies itself as a non-profit organization which secures compensation to be given to survivors of the Holocaust and their heirs.