Pupils: Holocaust 'most significant' event of 20th century

Survey also finds 35% of Israeli Jewish youth think they live in a racist society.

holocaust 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
holocaust 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
The Holocaust was the most significant event of the last century, surpassing the subsequent establishment of the State of Israel, a survey of Israeli Jewish high school pupils released Sunday found. A total of 48 percent of Israeli pupils surveyed said that the Holocaust was the most significant event of the last century, compared to 42% who cited the establishment of the State of Israel, and 10% who listed other events, including the 2005 pullout from Gaza, according to the survey carried out by the Massuah Institute for the Study of the Holocaust ahead of International Holocaust Day. The poll also found that 35% of Israeli pupils think Israel is a racist society, with more youth in the periphery of the country - 41% - holding such a view, and fewer - 29% - in the center of the country. A total of 31% believe the country is tolerant. The results of the survey regarding racism in Israel are "the most worrying," said Aya Ben- Naftali, director-general of the Holocaust Institute. As in years past, the poll found that trips to the Nazi death camps in Poland are the best method of Holocaust education, even after a year when the number of these trips have decreased due to their costs. A total of 51% of the pupils polled said that trips to Poland were the most significant way to learn about the Holocaust, compared to 19% who cited seminars at Holocaust museums and 14% who said Holocaust movies and TV programs as well as the Internet. The survey found that the Holocaust has placed an indelible mark on Israeli society. While 76% of the young respondents said that they had no familial or biological connection to the Holocaust, nearly 60% of them said that they discussed the topic at their homes with their family members. The survey, which was carried out over the last three months among 513 pupils in 14 schools across the country, did not cite a margin of error.