Students’ understanding of Holocaust is ‘deeply troubling’

Many young people do not know what anti-semitism means and hold some 'deeply troubling' misconceptions about the Holocaust, the largest ever study of its kind reveals. Pete Henshaw looks at the findings

A majority of secondary school students do not know what anti-semitism means, while many have an understanding of the Holocaust that is based on myths, inaccuracies and misconceptions.

The findings of a study involving more than 8,000 students aged 11 to 18 have been labelled as “deeply troubling” by Holocaust education experts.

The research, published by the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education, is the largest study of its kind and runs to 286 pages – with a wealth of recommendations for teachers, schools and policy-makers.

It finds that only 37 per cent of the respondents knew what anti-semitism was – meaning that while students knew that the Jews were the primary victims of the Holocaust, a majority could not explain in any depth why they were murdered.

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