'One in 20 British adults does not believe the Holocaust happened, and 8% say that the scale of the genocide has been exaggerated, according to a poll marking Holocaust Memorial Day.
Almost half of those questioned said they did not know how many Jews were murdered in Nazi death camps, and one in five grossly underestimated the number, saying that fewer than two million were killed. At least six million Jews died.
The poll, commissioned by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, a charity established and funded by the UK government to promote and support the international day of remembrance, echoes the findings of a survey carried out in seven European countries in November.
That poll found that one in three people knew little or nothing about the Holocaust, and an average of 5% said they had never heard of it. In France, 20% of those aged 18-34 said they had never heard of the Holocaust; in Austria, the figure was 12%. A survey in the US last year found that 9% of millennials said they had not heard, or did not think they had heard, of the Holocaust.
The scale of ignorance about the Holocaust has shocked experts. Olivia Marks-Woldman, of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, said: “I must stress that I don’t think [the poll respondents] are active Holocaust deniers – people who deliberately propagate and disseminate vile distortions. But their ignorance means they are susceptible to myths and distortions.” The Holocaust is taught in schools as part of the history curriculum, but “that might only be one lesson”, she added. “And people who are middle-aged or over may never have been taught about it.”'
Read more: One in 20 Britons does not believe Holocaust took place, poll finds
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