One-Third of World Believes Holocaust Is a Myth; Many Hold Anti-Semitic Views, Global Survey Reveals

Close to a third of people around the world believe that the Holocaust is greatly exaggerated or a myth, and over a quarter hold anti-Semitic views, an extensive global survey commissioned by the Anti-Defamation League has shown.

The global poll, conducted by First International Resources to research attitudes and opinions toward Jewish people, interviewed 53,100 citizens across 101 countries aged 18 and over, with a sampling error for the weighted global average of +/ - 0.97 %.

Among its many findings, ADL reported that only 54 percent of total respondents had heard of the Holocaust, where an estimated six million Jewish people were killed under the leadership of Nazi Germany leader Adolf Hitler. The statistics varied greatly between regions, however, as 94 percent in Western Europe and 77 percent of the Americas said they were aware of the Holocaust, compared to only 24 percent in places like Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Thirty-two percent of those who have heard of the Holocaust believe it is "either a myth or has been greatly exaggerated."

Of the total respondents, ADL said that 26 percent harbor anti-Semitic attitudes, which translates to 1.09 billion people worldwide.

Taking a look at the most widely accepted anti-Semitic stereotypes, the poll found that 41 percent of respondents answered "probably true" to the statement "Jews are more loyal to Israel than to this country/the countries they live in."

Another 35 percent answered "probably true" to the notion that "Jews have too much power in the business world."

Some of the most anti-Semitic attitudes were found in the Middle East and North Africa, where 75 percent said it is "probably true" that "People hate Jews because of the way Jews behave."

ADL noted that 16 of the countries with the highest scores of anti-Semitic views are in that region. Greece ranked the highest outside the Middle East and North Africa.

The U.S. was tied at 95th place with Denmark, where only 9 percent of the respondents held anti-Semitic views.

Bloomberg View's Leonid Bershidsky offered that although it is hard to believe that so much of the world is anti-Semitic in 2014, the general finding is a "simplistic reflection of a highly varied global picture of ethnic and religious prejudice."

"The ADL study, the first one conducted on such a wide scale, picked up indications of anti-Semitism's antipode, Islamophobia, and other related forms of bigotry, but did not go into too much detail on them. I suspect that if it had, global bigotry levels would have evened out at a higher number than 26 percent," Bershidsky wrote.

Some countries, such as Iran, have disputed the extent of the massacre during the Holocaust, though recent archaeological discoveries have sought to present new evidence on Nazi death camps where large amounts of people were killed.

In February, a team of forensic archaeologists said that they discovered evidence confirming that Treblinka in eastern Poland was a Nazi death camp, where 900,000 people disappeared -. Holocaust deniers claimed that it was only a transit camp.

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