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Survey Finds “Shocking” Lack of Holocaust Knowledge Among Millennials, Gen Z

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A nationwide survey released on Wednesday showed a “worrying lack of basic Holocaust knowledge” among adults under 40, including over 1 in 10 respondents who did not recall ever having heard the word “Holocaust” before.

What We Know:

  • The U.S. Millennial Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness Survey, touted as the first-ever 50-state survey on Holocaust knowledge among Millennials and Generation Z, showed that many of the respondents were unclear about the basic facts of the genocide. 63% of respondents did not know that 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, with over half of those thinking the death toll was fewer than 2 million. During World War II, over 40,000 concentration camps and ghettos were established but almost 50% of those surveyed could not name a single one.

“The most important lesson is that we can’t lose any more time,” said Greg Schneider, executive vice president of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, which commissioned the study. “If we let these trends continue for another generation, the crucial lessons from this terrible part of history could be lost.”

  • The Holocaust was the state-sponsored mass persecution and murder of millions of people under the Nazi regime, led by Adolf Hitler. The genocide campaign targeted those who Hitler, and therefore the government, believed to be “biologically inferior”. These were rooted in ideas of homophobia and anti-Semitism as well as targeting those with disabilities. Through the use of concentration camps, gas chambers, firing squads, and other methods, the Nazi regime targeted the Jewish people in particular, killing nearly 2 of every 3 European Jews by 1945.
  • The survey’s data came from 11,000 interviews that were conducted across the country by either phone and online with a random, demographically representative sample of respondents ages 18 to 39. The data collection was led by a task force that included Holocaust survivors, museum historians and experts, nonprofits, and educational institutions. The Claims Conference, a nonprofit that works to secure material compensation for Holocaust survivors and commissioned the survey, said the lack of Holocaust knowledge demonstrated in the study is “shocking” and “saddening”.
  • Besides raising concerns about Holocaust ignorance, the study also raised concerns about Holocaust denial. Only 90% of those surveyed believed the Holocaust happened with 7% saying they were not sure and 3% denying that it happened. In one of the more shocking revelation from the survey, is 11% of respondents believe Jews caused the Holocaust. In New York, the state with the largest Jewish population, that number rises to 19%.
  • “There is no doubt that Holocaust denial is a form of anti-Semitism,” said Deborah Lipstadt, a professor of modern Jewish history and Holocaust studies at Emory University in Atlanta. “And when we fail to actively remember the facts of what happened, we risk a situation where prejudice and anti-Semitism will encroach on those facts.”
  • Experts believe some of the problems may be connected to social media. According to the survey, half of the respondents have come across Holocaust denial or distortion posts online. Additionally, 56% of those surveyed reported having seen Nazi symbols, like the swastika, on social media or in their communities within the past five years.
  • The majority of adults who took the survey said they believe something like the Holocaust could happen again, an alarming revelation as some worry the decades-old rallying cry to “never forget” is being forgotten with few Holocaust survivors still alive to share the lessons of the Holocaust. “When you learn the history of the Holocaust, you are not simply learning about the past,” Lipstadt said. “These lessons remain relevant today in order to understand not only anti-Semitism but also all the other ‘isms’ of society. There is real danger to letting them fade.”
  • Although many respondents shared that they first learned about the Holocaust in school, the survey suggests that education might be incomplete as not everyone could associate it with World War II. 22% associated it with World War I, 10% were not sure, 5% connected it with the Civil War, and still, 3% connected it with the Vietnam war.
  • The survey also split up the data by state, ranking states on their Holocaust knowledge based on average scores throughout the survey. Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Massachusetts, states that do not require Holocaust education, ranked the highest in Holocaust knowledge. Contrastly, respondents in New York, Indiana, and California, where Holocaust education is required, were most likely to believe the Holocaust is a myth or has been exaggerated, with rates higher than 20 percent of the surveyed population.

80% of respondents agree that it is important to learn about the Holocaust partly so it never happens again and educators are working on ways to improve Holocaust education across the country. “We’ve seen it time and time again,” Schneider said. “Education is the best way to prevent ignorance and to prevent hate.

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Education

Waka Flocka has Received An Honorary Doctorate

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Image via Getty/Jason Mendez

The rapper earned his honorary doctorate in philanthropy and humanitarianism on Sat. October 3 in New York City. Wake Flocka’s family and friends shared photos and videos from the commemoration. He was dressed and looked very excited in his cap and gown.

What We Know:

  • Over the weekend, video and photos of the ceremony were seen online showing the “No Hands” rapper dressed in his graduation cap and gown as he received an honorary doctorate in philanthropy and humanitarianism. During the commemoration, the 34-year-old was praised and recognized for the philanthropic work that he has done over the years.
  • His wife, Tammy Rivera, and their daughter, Charlie, were the first ones present to watch him receive the honor alongside friends and family members.

  • This comes after Waka Flocka, whose actual name is Juaquin James Malphurs, announced earlier this year that he would dedicate his life support to mental health awareness and suicide prevention. According to MTV News, in 2013, Waka Flocka lost his younger brother, Coades Scott, who tragically died by suicide.
  • Waka Flocka later uploaded a photo of himself on Instagram on Monday, October 5, celebrating the achievement.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I got Honorary Doctorate in Philanthropy and Humanitarianism… my work just beginning!!!

A post shared by WAKA FLOCKA (@wakaflocka) on

  • With this new achievement, Waka Flocka has joined a list of other artists who have also received honorary doctorates such as; Common, who received his from Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina.
  • Other artists include Kanye West who received his from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Diddy from Howard University and Missy Elliot from Berklee College of Music.

Congratulations to Waka Flocka on his achievement.

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12-year-old Georgia Boy Begins Sophomore Year of College as Aerospace Engineer

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Caleb Anderson, 12-year-old sophomore at Chattahoochee Technical College in Marietta, Georgia. (Photo via Anderson Family)
Caleb Anderson, 12-year-old sophomore at Chattahoochee Technical College in Marietta, Georgia. (Photo via Anderson Family)

Those who have survived post-secondary education can understand “the struggle,” but for 12-year-old Caleb Anderson, college classes are his middle school. Young Anderson is a sophomore at Chattahoochee Technical College in Marietta, Georgia, and is currently studying aerospace engineering. His parents became aware of his little bright mind at a very early age.

What We Know:

  • According to his family, Caleb started to imitate his mother’s speech at only four weeks old, some infants can’t do this until a couple of months later. At nine months old, he had already learned more than 250 words in American Sign Language. Fast forward to the age of four, he was already reading at an accelerated level.

“I was getting my master’s in education so I knew that there was something special about that,” Claire Anderson, Caleb’s mother told USA Today.

  • Caleb’s plans after Chattahoochee Technical only consist of continuing his education at other schools. He wishes to attend the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and later the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT). One of his biggest long term goals includes getting an internship with Tesla CEO Elon Musk, a dream he has developed over the span of his short educational career already.
  • Instead of thinking about the next video game or toy he wanted to get, Caleb mentioned he had his sights on space since has was a toddler. “I figured that aerospace engineering would be the best path,” he said.
  • Caleb’s mother has stated that due to his incredible intellect, she feared a small number of things such as his sense of self. She noted how he didn’t need to study or get help with many subjects other kids struggled with. While other parents wouldn’t see this as an issue, Claire said that she “didn’t like the character that was building in him”.
  • Moving forward, his parents decided there were other things that needed attention rather than what if’s. Claire is a former teacher and her husband, Kobi, is an IT salesman. Over time, their initial worries faded and they started to teach him things books couldn’t, such as “compassion, kindness, looking for the good in others”.

When Caleb’s mother noticed that he quickly outpaced the work of his grade levels, she was concerned that a lack of a challenge could be holding him back. She now advocates to other parents to pay mind to their kids’ educations, even as early as she did with her son. Caleb has two siblings, 7-year-old Hannah and 8-year-old Aaron, who are also just as gifted in their studies.

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White Ohio Police Chief Explains BLM Support: “We Have to Listen to People”

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Douglas Swartz, City of Canal Fulton Police Chief. Courtesy of CNN

Ohio police chief, Doug Swartz, who is white, is motivating Black Lives Matter protests in his town.

What We Know:

  • Although there has not been a single Black Lives Matter protest in the mainly White city of Canal Fulton, Ohio, their White police chief wrote an article welcoming them, stating, “the Black community needs us”.
  • According to CNN, Canal Fulton’s police chief Doug Swartz has been the author of a monthly column that addresses various topics for the past eight years. He used the month of September to speak on and bring to life the Black Lives Matter movement that was revitalized following the tragic death of George Floyd in May.
  • Swartz writes that he was asked many times why Fulton had to assess with race as there have not been protests in the area for now. He replied by saying to lay with the U.S. Constitution as declared on July 4, 1776. He cited how the Black community was still not free of racism regardless of the document’s ideals and continues to face significant obstacles such as housing and education discrimination.
  • Swartz stated:

“How do you know about it, if you don’t know about it,” he states. “If there are struggles that are going on in mainly Black neighborhoods, we don’t know about it; our kids go to predominately white schools, and we’re a byproduct of that history with the things that are wrong in today’s society.”

  • He continues to say that’s why we have to listen to people and hear from them to see how we can make things better.
  • Swartz mentioned that he does not support riots, vandalism, or calls to defund the police. He stated those actions were “causing hate,” and he wants to follow the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to come together and work together as a community of one.

He encourages protests and voting for legislation that would improve African American’s lives.

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