German youths unaware of Auschwitz

By Jennifer Lipman, January 25, 2012


Sixty-seven years after the liberation of Auschwitz, one in five young Germans remain clueless about where the concentration camp was located.

Ten per cent of those surveyed for Germany's Stern news magazine were unaware that Auschwitz, where 1.1 million Jews and non-Jews perished, was a concentration camp.

And 20 per cent of the 18-29 year olds questioned did not know that the camp was situated in Poland, which was occupied by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

The results follow another survey earlier this week that revealed that some 20 per cent of Germans still displayed signs of latent antisemitism.

Last year was a record year for visitors to the site of Auschwitz, with more than 1.4 million people going to see the infamous gates and barracks.

Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, called the findings "troubling".

"Germany has a strong record of confronting its past and has gone to great efforts to commemorate and educate about the Holocaust," she said. "Clearly these statistics are troubling and reinforce the fact that we must guard against complacency – in order to ensure that future generations learn the lessons of their tragic history."

Last updated: 10:29am, January 26 2012