Over 80 percent of Israelis think the Holocaust will one day fade from memory, although it still resonates and influences daily life in the Jewish state, a poll has found.
The survey was conducted by The Center of Organizations of Holocaust Survivors ahead of Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, marked April 16, in an attempt to glean contemporary perceptions surrounding the Holocaust in Jewish-Israeli society, the NRG news site reported Wednesday.
Five hundred Jewish-Israeli adults were canvassed for the study.
Asked whether the Holocaust will lose its significance as the seminal catastrophe of modern times and fade into history as “just another event,” 36.6% of respondents said the matter was a certainty, 45% said that it may happen, and only 17.5% responded that such a situation would not transpire.
Asked, however, if the public memory of the Holocaust influences everyday decision making in the private and public spheres in Israel, 42.2% answered in affirmative. Ten point one percent said the memory of the Holocaust has personal resonance only, while 26.9% responded that it only dictates national policy. Just 15.5% of respondents said that the memory of the Holocaust has no influence.
When factoring gender into account, it was found that more women than men believed the Holocaust holds personal clout (12.6% to 7.4%), while on a national scale, more men than women said the Holocaust dictates state policy (32.1% to 21.9%).
The head of the organization behind the study believes the findings indicate a worrying trend in which the lessons of World War II will hold little significance for future generations — a course that should be counteracted with a rethink of Holocaust education in the Jewish state.
“It’s hard to think what would happen when the last [remaining] Holocaust survivors will no longer be with us,” Colette Avital, chairwoman of the Center of Organizations of Holocaust Survivors, said.
“This data should worry the country’s leaders and all those who [believe in] the continuity of Jewish history,” she said.