Half of Canadians can't name a Holocaust concentration camp: survey
CTVNews.ca’s Josh Dehaas, with reports from CTV Montreal’s Matt Grillo and CTV Atlantic’s Emily Baron Cadloff
Published Sunday, January 27, 2019 6:08PM EST
As people gather around the world to remember the six million Jews who died during the Holocaust, a new survey finds that about half of Canadians can’t name a single concentration camp or ghetto.
The telephone and online survey of 1,100 Canadian conducted on behalf of the Azrieli Foundation finds that just under 49 per cent can’t name one of the roughly 40,000 death camps. Meanwhile, 22 per cent of millennial respondents (ages 18 to 34) weren’t sure if they had even heard of the Holocaust.
The survey was released just before Sunday’s International Day of Commemoration for Holocaust Victims, which coincides with the 74th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
More than 1.1 million people – mostly Jews but also homosexuals, Polish prisoners and Roma people – were killed at the complex in Poland between 1940 and 1945 using forced starvation, gas chambers and other tools of genocide.
David Korn was only five years old when he was sent to a Christian orphanage in Slovakia to avoid the Nazis, who were rounding up Jews and placing them in concentration camps.
“One week after they put us in the orphanage, they were deported to Auschwitz. My mother and father died in Auschwitz,” Korn told CTV Atlantic on Sunday at a memorial event in Halifax.
“It’s very important that people remember what happened because hopefully it will not happen to somebody else later.”
Angela Orosz, who was born in Auschwitz on Dec. 21, 1944, spent Sunday remembering her mother, who managed to hide her from camp guards for more than a month.
“She had the will power to go through hell and give life and raise me,” Orosz told CTV Montreal. “She was a true hero.”
Orosz said she worries that memories of the Holocaust are fading, particularly as incidents of anti-Semitism are on the rise.
“So many people never heard of the concentration camp,” she said. “We have a big job to do.”