By Le Figaro with AFP
Posted yesterday at 7:16pm, updated yesterday at 7:25pm
Holocaust memorial in Amsterdam, September 2, 2021. Ramon van Flymen / ANP / AFP
About 23% of respondents born between the early 1980s and around 2010 either deny the Nazi extermination of more than six million Jews before and during World War II, or think the numbers are exaggerated.
The Dutch government on Wednesday (25 January) expressed surprise after the publication of a study showing that almost a quarter of adults under 40 in the Netherlands believe the Holocaust is a myth or exaggerated.
An opinion shared by 12% of the 2,000 Dutch participants of all ages in the study conducted by the Claims Conference, a world organization representing Jewish victims of Nazism.
“Worrying ignorance of the facts”
“I find that shocking,” said Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, quoted by the Dutch news agency ANP. “We can discuss anything, but it’s important that we all agree on the facts,” he added.
About 23% of Gen Y and Z respondents (born between the early 1980s and around 2010) either deny the Nazi extermination of more than six million Jews before and during World War II, or believe the numbers were exaggerated. The findings “revealed a disturbing lack of knowledge of important historical facts about the Holocaust and the Netherlands’ connection to Holocaust history,” the Claims Conference, which conducted its study in a statement, said in a December statement.
A higher percentage than anywhere else
“The overall numbers for denial and misrepresentation are also higher than in other countries we’ve studied,” added the organization’s president, Greg Schneider, who is quoted in the press release. The other target countries were the UK and Canada, where 9% of all participants believe the Holocaust is false or exaggerated, and Austria and France, where 10% share this opinion.
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“It is shocking and extremely worrying that almost a quarter of young Dutch people are questioning these facts,” Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra said on Twitter. Education Secretary Dennis Wiersma said additional efforts are needed in schools to teach the facts about the Holocaust. A Holocaust memorial was unveiled in Amsterdam in 2021, bearing the names of more than 102,000 Dutch Jews killed during the war.
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