Polls: Public opinions (and very poor knowledge) of World War II. '40% of high school seniors think the US fought with the nazis against the Russians in WW2.' - Filmmaker Ken Burns.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: History Tours, Hitler and Nazi controversies, Anne Frank Diary.
The children the Nazis stole in Poland: Forgotten victims
During World War II, the Nazis kidnapped tens of thousands of children and forcibly "Germanized" them. Afterward, they were left to grapple with their trauma alone. Now, a book and a documentary reveal their cruel fates.
Survey: Most US adults don't know 6 million Jews killed in Holocaust
Pew study finds half of US adults don't know basic facts about the Holocaust, including how Hitler came to power or number of Jewish victims.
When Poland was lost: The Soviet invasion 80 years ago
Only 16 days after the Nazis invaded Poland, the Soviet Union followed suit and marched into Poland on September 17, 1939. The event burdens Polish-Russian relations to this very day, and reconciliation is not in sight. Eugeniusz Sajkowski was in his mid-20s when the Soviets invaded Poland on September 17, 1939. "When I saw the Germans coming from the West and the Russians from the East, I thought to myself that this was probably our end."
US adults rapidly forgetting the Holocaust: One-fifth of millennials do not know what Auschwitz was
A study published by the Claims Conference, Holocaust Remembrance Day, has proven why remembrance culture is ever more necessary as time goes on. Over one-fifth of millennials, or people born roughly between 1985 and 2000, either didn't know or weren't sure what Auschwitz was. The most disturbing finding of the study concerned the conspiracy theory that the number of victims of the Holocaust is far lower than historical records maintain.
How young people today view the Second World War
Danes, German, and Finnish youth all see the Second World War as an important historical event. But that is where the similarity ends. `Danish and Finnish youth generally have a narrow, national view of the Second World War. German youth are far more aware of the consequences of the war in the rest of Europe,` says Carsten Yndigegn, and associate professor at the Department for Political Science and Public Administration at the University of Southern Denmark, and one of the authors of the new study published in the Journal of Youth Studies.
Only 40 Percent of Russians Believe Nazi-Soviet Pact Happened
A growing number of Russians believe that the Nazi-Soviet Pact is fake news. Nearly 17 percent of Russians in a recent poll believe the pact never happened, according to the Levada Center, a Russian polling firm. That's almost double the 9 percent who disbelieved the existence of the pact in 2005.
Auschwitz-Birkenau: 4 out of 10 German students don't know what it was
More than half of German secondary school students aged 14 to 16 years of age polled in a survey do not know that Auschwitz-Birkenau was a concentration camp. However, Sven Tetzlaff, a historian who was involved in the survey, says he is concerned about the lack of stand alone history classes for 14- to 16-year-olds in particular. He says in many states "history is not being taught as a separate subject in years 8 to 10."
Poll: One-Third of Americans Would Refuse to Hide a Jew During the Holocaust
One-third of American adults, if alive during the Holocaust, would refuse to hide a Jew from the Nazis. That data comes courtesy of a scientific poll conducted as part of an odd marketing ploy to promote the digital release of the film Return to the Hiding Place, which tells the true story of Christians who risked death to shelter Jews from Nazis seeking to ship them off to death camps during World War II.
Third of Brits have never heard of the Battle of Britain
Britons are fast forgetting world war history - with three in ten admitting they haven't heard of the Battle of Britain. A new study of 2,000 adults found an alarming lack of knowledge when it comes to some of the most defining moments of the two World Wars. Key battles, dates and influential figures all draw a blank for many. Just over half of adults know Neville Chamberlain was British Prime Minister at the start of World War II, while almost one in twenty think Germany was one of Britain's allies in the conflicts.
42 percent of Austrians: Things were ‘not all bad` under Hitler
42% of Austrians believe things were not all bad under Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, according to a poll. 61% - mostly elderly Austrians – favored the idea of a "strong leader who does not have to worry about a parliament or elections" as a leader. The poll was released in time to mark the country`s 75th anniversary of its annexation by Nazi Germany, referred to as a `union,` or `Anschluss` with Germany in 1938. At that time, cheering crowds greeted Adolf Hitler when Austria was conquered in the bloodless coup by Germany.
34% of British kids know the Battle of Britain took place in the 1940s, 20% what happened on D-Day
Only just over two in five secondary school children know the Battle of Britain was fought in the air, according to a new survey. The survey of 1,000 British children aged 11 to 18 was commissioned to mark the unveiling of the Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park, London. Only 34% of children knew WWII began in 1939. 39% knew it ended in 1945. 43% correctly knew the Battle of Britain was fought in the air. Only one third said the Battle of Britain took place in the 1940s, and only 11% of these knew it happened in 1940. Only a fifth of children had some idea of what happened on D-Day. 29% were unable to give any unprompted explanation of why Britain had fought WWII.
Study: Half of German teens not sure if Hitler was a dictator
A study - called Late Victory of the Dictatorships? - by researchers at Berlin`s Free University surveyed 7,500 students around the age of 15, asking about the country's previous governing bodies. Almost half of the German teens could not state for certain whether or not the Nazi regime was a dictatorship, reported German news site The Local. The study also found that a third knew the former East Germany was a dictatorship. "This is shocking. The low estimation of historical knowledge is clearly having an effect," said Klaus Schroder, the study`s leader.
21% of young Germans do not know the name of Auschwitz or what happened there
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. 21% 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.
Survey: 11% of Austrian teens think Hitler "did many good things for the people"
Austrians are shocked by a new survey which shows that 11% young people think Adolf Hitler was not all bad and that he did "did many good things for the people". The country was taken over by Hitler - himself an Austrian by birth - in 1938. Welcomed by euphoric crowds at the time, post-war Austrian retreated to a psychological comfort zone whereby they classified themselves as the 'first victims' of the Nazi regime. Perhaps more sinisterly, in a statement that harks directly back to the Nazis, 18% declared that "Jews have now, like before, too much influence over the world economy".
80% of all Americans have "little" or "some" knowledge of the Memorial Day (Article no longer available from the original source)
What is Memorial Day? A new poll reveals the United States is in danger of forgetting. 80% of all Americans have "little" or "some" knowledge of the holiday. Just 20% claim to be "very familiar" with the day's purpose, which is to honor those who have died while fighting the nation's wars. In response, The National WWII Museum has unveiled a new website mymemorialday.org featuring 10 ways to honor those who have fallen in the service of their country.
Survey: Young Canadians and military history - 37% knew very little, 9% nothing at all about WWII (Article no longer available from the original source)
Most young Canadians know little or nothing about most of the wars their countrymen have served in. 67% admitted they knew very little or nothing at all about the First World War, and, not surprisingly, the ignorance peaked with the Korean War (82% knew nothing or very little). Even for the best-known conflict, the Second World War, 37% knew very little and 9% knew nothing at all.
But there is some hope, since 80% expressed at least some interest in learning more about Canada's veterans, though their interest was likelier to be moderate than strong. In addition, 80% said websites were a good way for them to get information about Canada's military history.
Germany: Only 19% fully aware of the scale of forced labour used by the Nazis
Only 19% of Germans are aware of the full scale of the use of forced labour by the Third Reich. Just 13% of Germans over 65 correctly estimated the number of people forced to work in atrocious conditions for the Nazi war machine at over 13 million, a poll by Infratest-Dimap revealed. Those aged 19-49 knew better, with 23% answering correctly. 80% of 14-18 year-olds were interested or very interested by the topic, but only 28% said it was taught enough in history classes.
American journalists do not recognize the iconic Iwo Jima flag raising photograph
Recently Ron Grossman took a survey in the newsroom, asking colleagues to identify the iconic World War II photo of the raising of the American flag on Iwo Jima. While some recognized the image, others couldn't quite place it. "I know I ought to know it. It was in the movie, Flags of Our Fathers," one co-worker said. Some, seeing military uniforms, figured out it must be a war photo. Maybe Vietnam? One suggested it was D-Day. Journalists are probably more attuned to history than many people who have less motivation to keep up with the past (almost 25% of 17-year-olds couldn't identify Adolf Hitler in a survey).
Vast majority of British WWII veterans agree: This isn't the Britain we fought for
3 years ago Nicholas Pringle asked WW2 veterans to send in their experiences about Britain. The 150 replies, published as a book, reveal the profound disillusion. "I sing no song for the once-proud country that spawned me, and I wonder why I ever tried," wrote a sailor. "My patriotism has gone out of the window," said another. Immigration tops the list: "Our country has been given away to foreigners while we, the generation who fought... are having to sell our homes for care." Many are bewildered by a multicultural Britain that they were never consulted about. "Our British culture is draining away... and we are almost forbidden to make any comment."
UK poll reveals: Kids think that Auschwitz was a theme park and Hitler was a football manager
A survey by a veterans charity has revealed that school children (aged 9-15) are increasingly ignorant of the history of World War II, with 1 in 20 believing Adolf Hitler to be a national football team coach of Germany and 1 in 6 thinking that Auschwitz is a theme park. 1 in 20 said that the Holocaust was the celebration of the end of the war, 1 in 12 thought The Blitz was a huge cleanup operation after the war, 25% believed that D-Day stood for "Dooms Day" and "recalled" that a nuclear bomb was dropped on Pearl Harbour. 40% of children did not know that Remembrance Day was 11 November, while 12% thought the McDonalds logo was the symbol of Remembrance Day.
UK students: Auschwitz is either a type of beer, a country bordering Germany, or a type of bread
A survey of 1,000 secondary school pupils aged 11-16 revealed that 10% were not sure what Auschwitz was. 10% thought the infamous Nazi camp was a country bordering Germany and 2% thought it was a brand of beer. A further 2% identified Auschwitz as a religious festival, while a worrying 1% believed it was a type of bread. The poll also found that 60% did not know what the Final Solution was, with a 20% thinking it was the name given to the peace talks which ended the Second World War.
1941 Pearl Harbor attack fading from American consciousness (Article no longer available from the original source)
When approached at Greenville's Colonial Mall, more than a dozen people refused to comment on the significance of the Pearl Harbor attacks, citing a lack of knowledge about the events that day. Others said they knew the raid on Pearl Harbor was a defining moment in history, but they did not know many details about it. "I think that is when we were attacked by the Germans or something like that," one middle-aged lady said. 15 of 27 people said they did not know the anniversary of Pearl Harbor was coming near, and 8 of those 15 did not know what took place at Pearl Harbor.
Germany: 25% say there were positive aspects to 1933-1945 Nazi rule (Article no longer available from the original source)
A poll showed a quarter of Germans believe there were some positive aspects to Nazi rule - a finding that comes after a talk show host Eva Herman was fired for praising Nazi Germany's attitude toward motherhood. Pollsters asked whether National Socialism also had some "good sides such as the construction of the highway system, the elimination of unemployment, the low criminality rate and the encouragement of the family." Any praise of the 1933-1945 Nazi dictatorship is taboo in Germany. The poll showed that old people had the highest regard (37%) for aspects of the Nazi era. Those who grew up right after WWII were the least enthusiastic (15%).
The forgotten lessons of WWII: Nazi Victory not bad say 33% in Russia
7 years ago, I helped to conduct a poll of students in 4 Russian cities with dismaying results. Only 34% knew when the war began; 93% said American, British and French forces had aided the Red Army in the capture of Berlin in 1945; and 81% knew nothing about the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial. The situation has probably gotten worse since then. Only 20% of students in Krasnoyarsk could say anything about the events of June 22, 1941. Worst of all, young people are beginning to think differently: When asked what would have happened to the USSR in the event of a Nazi victory, 33% of students in Moscow said the defeat would not have had any negative consequences.
40% of germans think Third Reich had some positive aspects
Many germans hold unfavourable views about the Third Reich, according to a poll. 21% think Nazism was completely negative, while 40% think it had some positive aspects. Adolf Hitler became Germany’s chancellor in 1933, as the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP). Hitler established a fascist regime, relied on propaganda, and attempted to expand Germany’s "living space." World War II began in Sept 1939, when Nazi Germany invaded Poland. The conflict killed more than 55 million. Following Hitler’s suicide, field marshall Alfred Jodl surrendered to the Allied forces in May 1945. Page includes stats from 1991 and 2007.
Holocaust was a myth - 28% of UK youngsters not sure
A survey has shown that nearly a third of UK youngsters are not sure if the Holocaust was a myth. Asked whether it was a "myth", "had happened but its scale had been exaggerated", or that "six million Jews had been killed", 28% of 18-29 years old responded that they did not know. And the overall percentage of people who answered that they did not know was 17%. Auschwitz survivor Freddie Knoller felt the results were "frightening". 4% believed that the extent of the atrocities had been deliberately exaggerated by pro-Israel groups.
70% of Japanese have no knowledge about Tokyo war trials (Article no longer available from the original source)
About 70 percent of Japanese voters have little or no knowledge about the Tokyo war crimes tribunal, an event that led to the start of Japan's postwar history. 53% of the respondents were aware the International Military Tribunal for the Far East took place after World War II, but they did not know any further details. And 17% said they didn't even know the Tokyo tribunal was held. Ignorance of the trial was greater among younger respondents.
Public thinks Holocaust sparked World War II (Article no longer available from the original source)
Report: Dutch people know more about WWII than is often thought. But the level of knowledge about the war among under 25s is a cause for concern. People aged 65 and older knew more than younger people. Men also knew more about the period than women, but this might be because men are more interested in war. 83% thought incorrectly that the Holocaust led to war between the Axis and the Allied powers. The Final Solution has become synonymous with the war itself. There was ignorance about how many died during WWII. The highest combined civilian and military losses were the Soviet Union (25M), China (11M), Germany (7M), Poland (6.8M) and Japan (1.8M).
American Opinion About Hitler During World War II
What did Hitler’s contemporaries think? Using feature stories and editorials from the New York Times, this paper tracks American opinion of Adolph Hitler from 1940 to 1945 - during Second World War. By 1940, many people saw Hitler as a great intellectual, and many news stories focused on Hitler’s character and personality.
Celebrating Soviet heroism - 60th anniversary
Russia, which suffered the most in terms of human casualties in the Second World War, celebrates the 60th anniversary of the victory over fascism. More than 27 million Russians, about 14% of the country's population, died fighting for their motherland. Britain lost only 0.6% of its population. U.S. casualties were even lower - about 0.3% of its population. The Soviet war dead account for 40 per cent of all those killed in the War. In all, 8,66,800 Red Army officers and soldiers were killed in action. A recent opinion poll showed that 60% of the Russian people attributed the victory to Stalin's military genius.
Negative Attitudes Towards Jews Widespread in Germany
Negative attitudes towards Jews are widespread in German society today, though keeping the memory of the Holocaust strong has grown, according to a new survey. 52% of Germans assert that Jews are exploiting the memory of the Holocaust for their own purposes. Only 43% of Germans know that the Nazis killed six million Jews during World War II, though that finding represents an improvement over the 1994 survey when 36% correctly cited the 6 million figure.