The New Zealand Jewish Council this week responded with concern to the results of a recent poll undertaken by the Holocaust Memorial Trust of Auckland which revealed a shocking level of ignorance and uncertainty about the Holocaust in New Zealand. The poll was carried out in collaboration with Curia Market Research.
More than 1,000 people were surveyed throughout the nation, with over 70% having “little” or “no knowledge” of the Holocaust. Among the worrying figures, it emerged that only 32% of respondents aged under 30 know the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust. In response to the question, “How many Jews were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators during the Holocaust?”, 57% were not able to identify the correct number of six million.
The New Zealand Jewish Council said in a statement: “Given the frightening increase in antisemitism and racism around the world, and as we recall the horrific events of 15 March and other incidents of white supremacist terrorism in recent times, it seems that the need for more Holocaust education in schools is greater than ever. We urge those with the power to facilitate this, to consider doing so.”
J-Wire, the Jewish newspaper representing communities in Australia and New Zealand, quoted similar concern by the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand. The CEO of the centre, Chris Harris, said: “If we do not learn about the Holocaust, how do we take the lessons of this tragedy and make changes for today, in a world experiencing a rise in antisemitism, xenophobia, prejudice and discrimination.