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May 28, 2022



For most people in the Czech Republic the Holocaust is not just history, survey shows

27.1.2022 11:15
--ilustrační foto--
--ilustrační foto--

Most people in the Czech Republic are of the opinion that the Holocaust is not just an historical event that could never be repeated today - a recent survey undertaken by NMS Market Research found that while 35 % of respondents said they perceive the systematic persecution and annihilation of the Jewish population in particular as a rare event related to Nazi Germany and World War II, 55 % hold the opposite view. About three-quarters of respondents said they think the Holocaust and its victims should be discussed more. 

An even greater proportion of people are in favor of teaching more about this chapter of history in the Czech schools. Today the Czech Republic, like many other countries, is commemorating the Day of Holocaust Remembrance

In addition to 27 January, 9 March is also an important day in the Czech Republic for commemorating the prisoners from the family camp at Theresienstadt who were murdered in Auschwitz-Birkenau on that day. Roughly half of the respondents to the survey said they think the Czech Republic commemorates the Holocaust sufficiently, but according to 35 % there is not enough commemoration happening. 

"The research shows that the Holocaust as a subject is still alive for the Czechs and that it is important to commemorate it for the future," said Vít Pavliš, analyst at NMS Market Research. According to 82 % of the participants in the research, more people should be learning about the Holocaust in the primary and secondary schools. 

"Even 89 % of people aged 15 to 17 think they should learn more about the Holocaust at school," Pavliš added. 90 % of respondents over the age of 15 did say they know what the term "Holocaust" means. 

"Even the youngest age group of 15 to 18 does not lag far behind in such knowledge. Men are slightly more confident of it than women are," the survey reports. 

"Respondents mostly describe the Holocaust as the systematic persecution and murder of people, especially Jews, during World War II," the survey found. However, 55 % of respondents did not dare estimate the number of Holocaust victims. 

The commonly established figure of six million murdered Jews was reported by just 9 % of respondents - 16 % thought the number was less than that, while about one-fifth of respondents said there were more victims than six million. The survey, which took place from 8 January 2022, was conducted among 1 281 people over the age of 15. 

The Day of Holocaust Remembrance commemorates 27 January 1945, when the Auschwitz Concentration and Extermination Camp in Nazi-occupied southern Poland was liberated. Between 1940 and 1945, 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, died at Auschwitz. 

Those imprisoned at Auschwitz included 50 000 Czechoslovak citizens, of whom about 6 000 survived. The Nazis murdered six million people of Jewish descent during World War II.

The Nazis also targeted people of Romani ancestry for murder, with the Czech Press Agency reporting the number of such victims as approximately 220 000. However, other estimates put the number at 800 000, or anywhere between one-quarter to one-half of the prewar population of Roma and Sinti in Europe.

ČTK, ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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