By Stephen D. Smith
Last week, a major survey was released about Holocaust education in the United States. The findings were heartening: 80% of U.S. college students reported receiving at least some Holocaust education during high school, 78% of those students reported knowing a lot or a moderate amount about the Holocaust, and students exposed to Holocaust education were found to hold more pluralistic attitudes and were more open to differing viewpoints.
And you most likely didn’t hear anything about it.
Instead you heard about another survey released this week, one designed to get headlines. It did its job: News outlets worldwide reported that shocking numbers of Americans lack “knowledge” of the Holocaust.
The goal of the first survey — sponsored by Echoes & Reflections, a joint program of the ADL, Yad Vashem, and USC Shoah Foundation — was to examine the effectiveness of Holocaust education. (The directors of the partner organizations, myself included, were not involved in survey design or execution; I first saw the results when they were published publicly.)