Story by Allan Hall for The Daily Mail, January 25, 2012:
A survey carried out two days before Holocaust Memorial Day shows more than a fifth of young Germans do not know the name of Auschwitz or what happened there.
Twenty one per cent of people aged between 18 and 30 quizzed about the most notorious Nazi extermination camp had not heard of it, the survey revealed.
And almost half of all those canvassed by the Forsa research institute said they had never visited a concentration camp despite the fact Germany has made all of those on its soil permanent memorials to the dead.
Horrors: A survey has revealed one fifth of young Germans have never heard of Auschwitz or the crimes perpetrated there by the Nazis
This Friday is the 67th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army in 1945.
By the time Russian soldiers got there, some 1.2million of the six million victims of the Holocaust had been murdered there.
German government officials, camp survivors and Israeli politicians will be among those attending commemorations at the site of the camp built by the Nazis in occupied Poland during World War Two.
The survey, published in Stern magazine, showed that of people over 30, 95 per cent had heard of Auschwitz and the crimes committed there.
Vulnerable: Berlin is concerned that youths ignorant of the crimes of the Nazis are being targeted by a rise in neo-Nazis violence in Germany
But less than 70 per cent could name the country it lies in.
Berlin, which is concerned about a rising tide of neo-Nazi crime and sentiment in Germany, is dismayed by the survey which underwrites the belief that ignorant youth in particular are vulnerable to far-right propaganda that claims the Holocaust is a myth.
The Nazis built six extermination camps – Auschwitz, Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka and Majdanek – all of them in occupied Poland.
The murder of prisoners, most of them Jewish, began in 1941 when Nazi officials enacted Hitler’s ‘Final Solution of the Jewish Question’.
Most of the camps included gas chambers and many victims were then cremated as the Nazi’s attempted to hide evidence of the Holocaust.