While most Americans do know, at least at the basic level, what the Holocaust was and around when it happened, a new survey has revealed they know little else about the horror that unfolded during Adolf Hitler’s reign in Germany.
According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, less than half of Americans — only 45 percent — know how many Jewish people were murdered during the Holocaust. The correct answer is 6 million people.
Sixty-nine percent of the nearly 11,000 respondents did, however, correctly say the Holocaust took place between 1930 and 1950. It should be noted 10 percent thought it happened between 1910 and 1930 and 18 percent were not sure when the Holocaust took place.
Furthermore, only 43 percent of Americans are aware Hitler rose to become chancellor of Germany through a democratic political process. In fact, he — and his Nazi Party — were very well-liked among the German population.
Twenty-five percent of respondents, though, believed Hilter became the leader of Germany “by violently overthrowing” the national government. Twenty-eight percent said they were not sure how he rose to power.
Most Americans — 66 percent — do rightly believe “the Holocaust” refers to the “attempted annihilation of the Jewish people, or words to that effect, mentioning the mass murder of Jews.”
Nearly half of U.S. citizens get at least three of four questions about the Holocaust correct. Interestingly, Christians — which includes Protestant evangelicals as well as Catholics — answered an average of two questions correctly.
Sixty-six percent of Christians correctly answer when the Holocaust took place, 42 percent rightly say approximately 6 million Jews were killed during Hitler’s reign, and 39 percent know Hitler came to power democratically.