Just 54 percent of people across the world are aware of the Holocaust, and 32 percent doubt it ever occurred, think it’s a myth or is exaggerated, according to a new poll from the Anti-Defamation League.
ADL surveyed 53,000 people in 102 countries. Their poll found only 38 percent of people in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) were aware of the 1940s genocide that killed roughly 6 million Jews. Of respondents in MENA who had heard of the Holocaust, 63 percent said they believe it is “either a myth or has been greatly exaggerated.”
People under the age of 35 were less likely to believe in historical accounts of the Holocaust than those over 50.
The survey also asked about Jewish stereotypes, including Jews “have too much power in the business world”; “don’t care about what happens to anyone but their own kind”; and “have too much control over global affairs.”
In the U.S., 9 percent of respondents said they felt at least six of these stereotypes are true.
About 31 percent of Americans also said they believe Jews are “more loyal to Israel” that the U.S. In fact the stereotype “Jews are more loyal to Israel than to this country/the countries they live in” was the most widely held belief with 41 percent of respondents around the world saying it’s “probably true.”
At 49 percent, Muslims had the highest score on the ADL anti-Semitism Index.
"Our findings are sobering but, sadly, not surprising," ADL Chair Barry Curtiss-Lusher said in a release.
Of the 74 percent of respondents who said they had never met a Jewish person before, 25 percent still harbored anti-Semitic attitudes.
"The level of anti-Semitism in some countries and regions, even those where there are no Jews, is in many instances shocking,” Curtiss-Lusher said. “We hope this unprecedented effort to measure and gauge anti-Semitic attitudes globally will serve as a wake-up call to governments, to international institutions and to people of conscience that anti-Semitism is not just a relic of history, but a current event."