Nearly half of Americans don’t know how many killed in Holocaust, survey finds

Just over half of American adults are familiar with the number of Jews killed during the Holocaust, and even fewer know that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler came to power democratically, a new survey on the state of Holocaust education shows.

According to the poll of 1,004 adults published by the American Jewish Committee days ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, only one in four American adults could correctly answer four basic questions about the Shoah.

While 85% identified Auschwitz as a death camp and 76% were able to place the Holocaust between 1930 and 1950, just 53% knew that 6 million Jews were killed. Another 20% said they did not know how many, while 13% said fewer than 3 million and 11% said over 12 million.

Thirty-nine percent of respondents knew how Hitler came to power, but almost as many (34%) thought he took over Germany via a violent coup.

According to the AJC, the results show a strong link between general education level and knowledge about the Holocaust.

“Lacking knowledge can open pathways to trivialization and denial of the Holocaust that also contribute to rising antisemitism,” says AJC CEO Ted Deutch in a statement.

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