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Germany

Holocaust Unknown Among Young Germans

One young German in two does not know what the Holocaust was, according to the results of a survey released Friday. Although about 80 percent of Germans were able to identify the Holocaust as the Nazi extermination campaign against European Jews, the figure was only 51.4 percent among Germans under the age of 24. The poll on German history by independent research institute Forschungsgruppe Wahlen for public broadcaster ZDF and the newspaper Die Welt showed that in every age group, women (21.3 percent) were twice as likely not to recognize the term "Holocaust" than men (9.9 percent). The telephone survey was conducted in March among 1,087 Germans with a margin of error of 3.1 percent. The editor for contemporary and cultural history at Die Welt, Sven Felix Kellerhoff, told AFP that the results were alarming. "We are kidding ourselves if we think we can lean back and be satisfied with our knowledge of German history, particularly in light of the terrible results on the Holocaust question," he said. "We all have our work cut out for us." Kellerhoff said that respondents were asked to define the word "Holocaust" and allowed a relatively broad range of answers -- including any mention of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz or the murder of Jews -- to count as correct. The survey comes amid a flurry of ceremonies marking the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps as World War II drew to a close.

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