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Nearly two-thirds of US adults unaware 6m Jews killed in the Holocaust – study (theguardian.com)
34 points by bmcn2020 40 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 34 comments



Nearly nine-tenths of US adults are probably unaware that 20m Russian soliders died in WWII.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties#Human_... has military deaths for the Soviet Union at between 8 and 11M - bad but some way short of 20M.


For soldiers, that’s correct. However, if you include civilian deaths you do hit the 20 million number. And that’s the lower estimate.


Yes, but the original statement specifically said 20M soldiers, not "soldiers and civilians".


Who are you going to believe? An anonymous poster on Wikipedia or an anonymous poster on HN?


The anonymous poster(s) on Wikipedia do include links to sources, including, e.g., http://documents.theblackvault.com/documents/SovietLosses.pd... which has the 11M estimate and seems reasonably well researched.


and probably close to 100% dont know about 22K Polish officers murdered (shot in the back of the head) and further ~150K killed in concentration camps by Russians directly during and after WW2.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katyn_massacre

Btw Russians have a funny way of counting WW2 casualties, they include Poles killed by Russians as Russian victims due to annexation of Poland by Russia post ww2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties_of_Pol...


More to the point:

    Casualties (source: Wikipedia)
    3,436,066 USSR, Battle of Leningrad
    1,129,619 USSR, Battle of Stalingrad[1]
    1,076,245 US, all battles (europe + pacific)
[1] a crucial battle: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23612474


I'm hesitant to undermine the substance of the report but when it's mentioned "Six out of 10 respondents in Texas could not name a single concentration camp or ghetto" my first thought was to ask what other facts might we be surprised to hear were unknown to the same group ? For more than half of that group to not know the name of any concentration is hardly ideal but if the same proportion of people were unable to give you a coherent summary of the events of the Second World War it's a lot less significant.

By contrast the parts of the report which touch on "constructed facts" (e.g. "Jews caused the holocaust") are potentially more troubling. They too might be due to ignorance (Q: "Did the Jew cause the holocaust ?", A:"Errrh, Yes ?") but equally could be due to empty vessels being filled with something nasty.


I couldn't find the survey itself, neither at http://www.claimscon.org/news-media/publications/ nor http://www.claimscon.org/news-media/ . Schoen Consulting doesn't trivially appear in a search.

69% for france, 58% for austria (millenial and gen Z respondents). Interestingly, the french and austrians both modally respond that there are "few" neo nazis in their countries, but "a great deal or many" in the US. The surveys were taken close to 27 January, so I hope those perceptions mostly reflect Charlottesville.

80% of respondents in all three countries thought it should be taught.


This seems to be the survey summary - http://www.claimscon.org/millennial-study/ - with breakouts like http://www.claimscon.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/NO-WATER... and per-state breakouts like http://www.claimscon.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Millenni... which gives you the script (although nothing more than percentages for the responses.)


Could we please have a title edit?

As of writing, it's titled: "Nearly two-thirds of US young adults unaware 6m Jews killed in the Holocaust"

"According to survey of adults 18-39 ..."


Surely someone in their thirties is just an adult, not a young adult.


The article does not include US adults aged 40+ and it's explicit about it. It is just misinformation to widen the claim to two-thirds of all the US adults.


Even the two-thirds unaware is slightly widened.

From http://www.claimscon.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Millenni... (thanks, zimpenfish!) page 5, the question and responses were:

9. Approximately how many Jews were killed during the Holocaust? Please select from the following list:

    25,000      2%  :
    100,000     3%  :
    1 million   4%  :
    2 million  13%  #:
    6 million  41%  ####
    20 million 10%  #
    Not sure   27%  ##;
of which 6 million, even including "not sure", is clearly the modal result.


Almost every comment in this thread seems to be some variation of either “So what if a lot of jews died—a lot of other people died in the holocaust too ya know!”, or “So what if a lot of people died in the Holocaust—a lot of people died in communist Russia too ya know!”.

I find this kind of whataboutism on this topic to be extremely gross and creepy.


Even less people know that the total number of casualties of WW II was about 70 million. Many people in the West are under impression that WW II was all about Jews. It wasn't. Even Holocaust wasn't solely about Jews, as they were also people of other nationalities killed in death camps.


Holocaust is by definition only about Jews. Holocaust is not about all the people who died in camps nor only people who died in camps. It is specifically word for genocide of Jews during WWII.


There isn't international agreement on the definition of Holocaust.

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/introducti...

> Holocaust, Hebrew Shoʾah (“Catastrophe”), Yiddish and Hebrew Ḥurban (“Destruction”), the systematic state-sponsored killing of six million Jewish men, women, and children and millions of others by NaziGermany and its collaborators during World War II. The Germans called this “the final solution to the Jewish question.” Yiddish-speaking Jews and survivors in the years immediately following their liberation called the murder of the Jews the Ḥurban, the word used to describe the destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 586 bce and the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in 70 ce. Shoʾah (“Catastrophe”) is the term preferred by Israelis and the French, most especially after Claude Lanzmann’s masterful 1985 motion picture documentary of that title. It is also preferred by people who speak Hebrew and by those who want to be more particular about the Jewish experience or who are uncomfortable with the religious connotations of the word Holocaust. Less universal and more particular, Shoʾah emphasizes the annihilation of the Jews, not the totality of Nazi victims.

Versus

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/introducti...

> The Holocaust was the systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its allies and collaborators. Holocaust is a word of Greek origin meaning "sacrifice by fire." The Nazis, who came to power in Germany in January 1933, believed that Germans were "racially superior" and that the Jews, deemed "inferior," were an alien threat to the so-called German racial community.

> During the era of the Holocaust, German authorities also targeted other groups because of their perceived racial and biological inferiority: Roma (Gypsies), people with disabilities, some of the Slavic peoples (Poles, Russians, and others), Soviet prisoners of war, and Black people. Other groups were persecuted on political, ideological, and behavioral grounds, among them Communists, Socialists, Jehovah's Witnesses, and homosexuals.


The two links are identical, the first one is likely wrong.

The linked article focuses on Jews and seems to define Holocaust itself as Jew issue - while trying to make sure reader knows that is not the only atrocity that was going on at the time. I think that the other groups being mentioned too is not to define Holocaust through their murder, but to not make impression it was just that.

The first quote is confusing, because it simultaneously counts in "and millions of others" while also saying "The Germans called this “the final solution to the Jewish question.”". And then turning again to say that it represents totality of victims and supposedly Sho'ah should be word. I have never seen Shoʾah being used in English language. I have seen that in France, but it was in French language.


So a person hiding Jewish child, caught by being denounced by another Jew (1), send to concentration camp and killed is not a victim of Holocaust?

1. https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/life-in-sh...


It would not count as a victim of Holocaust for statistical purpose. The child would count. I dont think it should count for that stat.

The denouncer nationality is completely irrelevant to categorization.

You have non-Jewish victims of persecution by Nazi, for multiple reasons. Quite a lot of them, but these are separate from holocaust.


And probably even less aware of the other 11 million people murdered by the Nazis in their camps.


Stalin killed over 20 million, Mao almost 80 million. How many adult Americans know that?


How many know the kill count of Cambodia under Pol Pot?

It's more recent and after the "Never again"

The entire propaganda behind the Holocaust is so we don't repeat it, yet no one cares when we do.

So I'm a little lost on why we should care? Will this survey help the Rohingya people today?


Why shouldn't you care? You obviously think a genocide is a big injustice. Your frustrations with injustices cause you to belittle another injustice and even call the actual act of rememberance "propoganda".

People should care, about both examples of human atrocities, the lesson should be universal, but it's up to us to fight for that. Belittling the holocaust doesn't do anything to help the fight for this cause. if anything, it hurts it.


> Belittling the holocaust doesn't do anything to help the fight for this cause. if anything, it hurts it.

Theoreytically that might be true. The fact is that today 70 years after the event, and several other genocides the amount ot attention all these other genocides that happened is miniscule compared to the attention that holocoust gets.

So there is clearly something wrong, in the whole "let's not allow genocide happen again by remebering holocaut" story.


>The fact is that today 70 years after the event, and several other genocides the amount ot attention all these other genocides that happened is miniscule compared to the attention that holocoust gets.

Most attention given to the Holocaust nowadays is by Holocaust deniers, outside of the occasional Memorial day war story. It's not as if the news media is covering Holocaust related stories on a loop non-stop instead of these other genocides.

>So there is clearly something wrong, in the whole "let's not allow genocide happen again by remebering holocaust" story.

History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. Those for whom the Holocaust was in living memory are almost all dead, to their children and grandchildren, the Holocaust is a family story, essentially tribal myth, important and compelling but still only indirectly a part of their reality. For the next generation, the Holocaust is no more real than the Trojan war or scouring of the Shire.

It's impossible not to forget, and it's impossible for most people to care about something that happened almost a century ago. It doesn't help that there are constant, active efforts to undermine and deny the Holocaust alongside the inevitable dilution of the event with the passage of time.

The problem is that genocide was shocking in the 1940s, when people first saw the bodies stacked like cordwood in newsreels, and the emaciated faces of the survivors liberated from the camps which is why the Holocaust in particular has lasting and specific historical impact, but now genocide has become mundane.

Hell, the primary opinion in this thread seems to be that the Holocaust is overrated, and people are arguing about genocides like music hipsters arguing over bands. If that's not evidence of how detached people have become from the Holocaust, then I don't know what would be.


Holocaust happened here and was done mainly by western country. It was very much result of western ideologies. It was also successor of history of pogroms and antisemitism that existed in Europe. Europe still have some of people who did lived through it. The movements that made holocaust happen and their ideologies still exist and are alive in Europe and in western countries.

America is quite close culturally, literally fought in that war, literally fought a lot in that war because Germany was threat to America too. America did not had just few units in WWII, it was major player.

It would not be surprising for history of "us" and politics of "us" be more prominent in western countries then history that happens in different countries. Afaik, in Cambodia, they do talk about their genocide and have museums of it.


>Holocaust happened here and was done mainly by western country

I know it will sound very controversial, but take it notch further and you will see it not so much because was done by western countries. Western countries have done plenty of genocides. It is because it was done to white people .

>The movements that made holocaust happen and their ideologies still exist and are alive in Europe and in western countries.

Actually Hitler drew a lot of inspiration from USA and its eugenics attempts.

> Afaik, in Cambodia, they do talk about their genocide and have museums of it.

20 something year old from Cambodia, have no clue who Paul Pot is. Speaking from personal experience with people from Cambodia.


The fact if you don't lie to support a cause you are the enemy is part of today's problem.

Expecting people to know intricacies of something further in the past but nothing about the ones after is not normal.

Sarah Silverman on the Holocaust -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8z5wBwY5Zw&feature=youtu.be...


I would point out that at minimum, that genocide was not commited by western country.

> The entire propaganda behind the Holocaust is so we don't repeat it, yet no one cares when we do.

I don't know what you mean by propaganda, but there are more reasons for talking about history and knowing history then just "so that the bad stuff never happen never again".

We do in fact teach non-holocaust related history too.


Maybe I'm too cynical, but I suspect that might have something to do with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegations_of_United_States_s... . Genocidal is bad, and communist is bad, but genocidal communists are not half bad when they're enemies of enemies.

Edit: ~2M (the truly horrifying part being that that was a quarter of the original 8M population)


In both genocide cases there's huge ignorancy.

Your comment is unwarranted. Both because you note on a differentiator in a case where there's not a big difference. And because your explanation assumes much more than a simpler explanation: Most Americans are pretty much ignorant, they call the US "the world", they hardly know history that is directly related to them, let alone somewhere far away.




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