27 November 2018
Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, is deeply concerned about the initial report of the CNN survey, according to which one-third of Europeans claim to know little or nothing about the Holocaust. Additionally, the survey highlights the troubling fact that many entrenched hateful antisemitic tropes persist in European civilization, seventy-five years after the end of the Holocaust. While antisemitism does not necessarily lead to genocide, antisemitism was central to the Nazis' worldview and the basis for their "Final Solution" to eradicate all Jews and their culture from the face of the earth. The results of this survey prove the necessity to intensify broad-based efforts in the area of Holocaust education and awareness, which is essential to any effort to contend with antisemitism. Yad Vashem remains determined to foster the requisite knowledge and provide means to teach about the Holocaust.
"We have created numerous tools to further our educational efforts, in order to ensure a deeper understanding about the Holocaust and antisemitism," proclaimed Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev. "Most recently, Yad Vashem created an online course entitled, "Antisemitism – From its Origins to the Present," which was introduced less than a year ago on the UK e-education platform FutureLearn." More than 10,000 people from around the world have so far joined this enlightening and compelling course.
While Holocaust education plays an indispensable role in combating antisemitism, it must also be augmented by effective government legislation and enforcement. Yad Vashem believes that by raising public awareness about the Shoah, not as a closed chapter in human history but as a relevant topic for our own time, the nations of Europe and elsewhere will be better equipped and motivated to fight racism and antisemitism.