A CNN poll of Europeans in seven countries found that more than a quarter believe Jews have too much influence in business and finance and more than one-third said they have no substantial knowledge of the Holocaust. "Yad Vashem remains determined to foster the requisite knowledge and provide means to teach about the Holocaust", Yad Vashem added.
The survey was conducted by pollster ComRes on behalf of CNN and "interviewed more than 7,000 people across Europe, with more than 1,000 respondents each in Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Poland and Sweden".
Among the more striking features of the poll was that despite these attitudes, Europeans generally held favorable views of Jews.
Only five percent of respondents reported never hearing about the Holocaust. They found that more than one in four think Jews hold too much influence in finance and business, and nearly one in four think they are too influential in conflicts around the world. "(In Hungary, favorable topped unfavorable 21 percent to 19 percent, with the rest saying they had neither a favorable nor unfavorable view)", CNN's report on the survey noted.
Avner Shalev, chairman of Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem, toldCNN that the poll's results highlight "the troubling fact that many entrenched hateful anti-Semitic tropes persist in European civilization, 75 years after the end of the Holocaust". A quarter of Hungarians and a fifth of Brits and Poles thought that more than 20 percent of people in the world are Jewish.
While there was a broad consensus of the importance of keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive in order to help prevent future atrocities, there is substantial ignorance of the mass murder of some six million Jews at the hands of the Nazi regime during World War II: In France, for instance, 20 percent of young people (ages 18-34) said they had never heard of the Holocaust, and some 12% of the parallel group in Austria said they knew "just a little".
It also found that more than half (56%) of adults say they are not aware of ever having socialised with a Jewish person. "Four out of 10 Austrian adults said that".
In its statement responding to the CNN findings, Yad Vashem argued that while "Holocaust education plays an indispensable role in combating antisemitism, it must also be augmented by effective government legislation and enforcement".
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