58% of Austrians believe something like the Holocaust could happen again

"Effective education is paramount towards ensuring that what happened in the past does not repeat itself,” said Claims Conference president Julius Berman.

May 2, 2019 04:31
1 minute read.
An orchestra accompanies prisoners before their execution,

An orchestra accompanies prisoners before their execution. (photo credit: COURTESY CLAIMS CONFERENCE)


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More than half (58%) of Austrians believe that something like the Holocaust could happen again in other European countries, according to a new survey released on Holocaust Remembrance Day by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference).

The organization’s comprehensive Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness Survey of adults in Austria also found that more than one-third of Austrian adults – 38%, who are 43% of Millennials and Generation Z – believe that National Socialism/Nazism could come to power again.

In general, 27% of respondents believe that Jewish people could face another mass genocide, 35% were in complete disagreement, and 38% were neutral or not sure.

Behind bars

Survey data was collected in German and analyzed by Schoen Consulting with a representative sample of 1,000 Austrian adults via landline, cellphone and online interviews. Respondents were selected at random and constituted a demographically representative sample of the adult population in Austria.

The respondents said they believe that the neo-Nazi movement in America is more active than in their own country, with half claiming that there are a “great deal” or “many” neo-Nazis in the United States, compared to only 36% who think this is true in Austria.

“Effective education is paramount towards ensuring that what happened in the past does not repeat itself,” said Claims Conference president Julius Berman in response to the survey, which additionally found that more than half (56%) of those surveyed did not know that six million Jews were killed during the Holocaust. “Without education, we risk the history of the Holocaust being distorted and otherwise denied – and those who were murdered being forgotten.”

When asked to name a death camp or ghetto they had heard of, 42% of Austrians could not name Austria’s Mauthausen death camp, which is located only 12 miles east of Linz, Austria.

“It’s clear we have a problem,” noted Claims Conference board member and survey task force chairman Matthew Bronfman. “We are failing to teach our young people – and the consequences will be devastating.”

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