The results of a survey on Holocaust awareness in the Netherlands, which a Jewish organization commissioned, were released on Wednesday.
The findings revealed “a disturbing lack of awareness of key historical facts about the Holocaust,” which prompted calls for improved education in the country where diarist Anne Frank and her family were born.
Compared to the other five countries examined, more respondents in the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany in New York study said they believed the Holocaust to be a fable.
According to the survey, 12% of all respondents and 23% of adults under 40 said the Holocaust was a fable or that the number of Jews slain had been grossly overstated.
Dilan Yesilgöz-Zegerius, the Dutch justice minister, wrote on Twitter, “Not only is this just stunning, but it’s also severe.”
We have a lot of work to do as a community because over a quarter of Dutch citizens born after 1980 believe that the Holocaust is a fable or has been greatly “exaggerated.” And quickly, too.
In addition, 59% of respondents under the age of 40 and 54% of all respondents did not become aware that 6 million Jews were killed, according to the report.
Only 29% of people think there are fewer than 2 million people.
Before World War II, there were 140,000 Jews residing in the Netherlands; during the Holocaust, 102,000 perished.
The genocide also resulted in the deaths of an additional 2,000 Jewish refugees in the nation.
Despite this sordid past, only 53% of those polled mention the Netherlands as a nation where the Holocaust occurred.
A transit camp in the eastern Netherlands where Jews, including Anne Frank, were sent before being deported was only recognized by 22% of all responders.
The camp now serves as a memorial and museum.
According to the study, 60% of participants had never been to the Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam. Anne, her sister, her parents, and four other Jews sheltered in the canalside building from the Nazi occupiers of the Dutch capital.
The Holocaust is either a myth or has been exaggerated, according to 23% of Millennials and Gen Z, Eddo Verdoner, the Netherlands’ national coordinator for combating antisemitism.
The discovery “indicates a widening knowledge and awareness gap. To combat Holocaust denial everywhere it appears, we must improve what we are doing in our classrooms, Verdoner stated.
77% of those polled said it was crucial to keep teaching about the Holocaust to ensure that it didn’t occur again, and 66% thought it should be made mandatory in schools.