Roy Gutterman, associate professor of newspaper and online journalism and director of the Tully Center for Free Speech in the Newhouse School, wrote an op-ed for Syracuse.com titled “The right to vote is ‘the essence of a democratic society.’ Exercise…
Survey Results Highlight a Worrying Lack of Basic Holocaust Knowledge
According to the U.S. Millennial Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness Survey, the first-ever 50-state survey on Holocaust knowledge among millennials and Generation Z (adults aged between 18 and 39), almost half (48%) could not name a single concentration camp or ghetto established during the second world war.
Almost a quarter of respondents (23%) said they believed the Holocaust was a myth, or had been exaggerated, or they weren’t sure. One in eight (12%) said they had definitely not heard, or didn’t think they had heard, about the Holocaust. Nationally, 63% of respondents did not know six million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust, and more than one in three (36%) thought two million or fewer had been killed.
Syracuse University’s Zachary Braiterman, professor of religion in the College of Arts and Sciences, works in the field of modern Judaism. His research and teaching explore shifting aesthetic canons as they shape Jewish thought and culture from the 17th century until the present. Research and teaching interests touch upon the impact of enlightenment, modernity, modernism,and postmodernism upon Jewish ideas about God, ritual, text-interpretation and community life—with special emphasis on Jewish philosophy, theoretical aesthetics and classical Jewish sources.
Braiterman offers this perspective:
“Reports about young American adults not knowing anything about the Holocaust or having weird ideas about the Holocaust are not surprising. Each passing decade puts more and more cognitive distance between people today and the historical past about which they know only through platforms like Hollywood movies and social media, now including TikTok. The Holocaust becomes more and more unreal, especially in a culture like ours that seems untethered from reality. Educators can only do so much in this current context.”