Here’s the good news: Most Americans accept the reality of the Holocaust. Most Americans can also tell you what the Holocaust was — if not precisely, then something at least close.
And according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center, atheists and agnostics are as knowledgeable about the Holocaust as Jews — and all of those groups know far more than Christians.
The survey, which builds on an earlier study about religious knowledge, asked participants four multiple-choice questions relating to the Holocaust:
- When did the Holocaust happen? (Answer: Between 1930-1950. 69% got that right.)
- What were Nazi-created ghettos? (Answer: Parts of a city/town where Jews were forced to live. 63% got that right.)
- In total, about how many Jews were killed in the Holocaust? (Answer: Approximately 6 million. 45% got that right.)
- Which best describes how Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany? (Answer: A democratic political process. 43% got that right.)
Of those four questions, Jewish participants got an average score of 3.2 correct. Atheists and agnostics? 3.1 apiece.
Christians? A pathetic 2.1.
It gets even worse for them when you look at each question.
Whatever the reason, these numbers are embarrassing. That’s true for everyone, but it’s true for some groups more than others. The fact that the “hardest” question is the one about how Hitler rose to power also means we may be doomed to repeat history.
Here’s a silver lining, though: Some factors increase the likelihood of getting these questions right. They include having a formal education, visiting a Holocaust museum, or personally knowing someone who’s Jewish.
In other words, everyone is capable of having this knowledge. Some people just choose to ignore it.
(Featured image via Shutterstock)