5 important facts about Holocaust Remembrance Day

US knowledge about the Holocaust

People stand together during an interfaith Rally Against Anti-Semitism hosted by Greater Miami Jewish Federation at the Holocaust Memorial on June 03, 2021 in Miami Beach, Florida. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Pew Research Center released a report in January 2020 to gauge how much Americans knew about the Holocaust, with the survey producing mixed results.

In an online survey of 10,971 respondents with a margin of error of 1.5%, Pew found that while 69% accurately answered when the Holocaust occurred and 63% accurately defined what a Nazi-era ghetto was, less than half (45%) accurately guessed the estimated number of Jews killed during the Holocaust and only 43% accurately guessed how Adolf Hitler came to power.

The survey also asked respondents to describe what the word “Holocaust” refers to, with 66% answering that it described the “annihilation of Jews,” while 18% of respondents answered with more loosely connected ideas, like “persecution of Jews” and “death, general.”

“Overall, the average respondent correctly answers about half (2.2) of the four multiple-choice Holocaust knowledge questions,” reported Pew.

“Nearly half of Americans get at least three questions right, including one-quarter who correctly answer all four questions (24%). Roughly one-in-five respondents do not answer any of the Holocaust knowledge questions correctly, mainly because they say they are ‘not sure’ about the answers to the questions.”

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