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Poll: One-third of Europeans know little or nothing about the Holocaust

Protestors holding up signs including one that has a swastika crossed out.
Photo: Guido Kirchner/picture alliance via Getty Images

One-third of Europeans say they know little or nothing about the Holocaust, and another third believe that Jewish people use the Holocaust to "advance their own positions or goals," according to a new poll by CNN.

Why it matters: Fewer than 75 years after millions of Jews were slaughtered during the Holocaust, Europeans, particularly younger people, are beginning to forget. Meanwhile, more than a quarter of Europeans said they think Jews have too much influence in business, finance and global conflicts.

By the numbers:

  • 12% of young Austrians, living in the nation where Hitler was born, said they had never heard of the Holocaust.
  • 20% of European respondents said they thought Jews had too much influence in politics and media.
  • Half of Polish respondents said they think Israel uses the Holocaust to justify its own actions amid conflict.
  • Hungary was the only nation polled that had a higher percentage of people saying they had unfavorable views of Jews than favorable views — 21% to 19%.
  • 20% of British and Polish people who responded said they thought Jewish people made up 20% of the global population — they actually make up about 0.2%. A quarter of Hungarians said the same.
  • Young Americans are also uncertain of their knowledge of the Holocaust. An earlier poll showed that 10% of American adults and 20% of millennials say they are not sure they've heard of the Holocaust.

The CNN/ComRes poll interviewed more than 1,000 respondents each in Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Poland and Sweden.

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