Anti-Semitic stereotypes are alive and well in Europe, while the memory of the Holocaust is starting to fade, a sweeping new survey by CNN reveals. More than a quarter of Europeans polled believe Jews have too much influence in business and finance. Nearly one in four said Jews have too much influence in conflict and wars across the world.
One in five said they have too much influence in the media and the same number believe they have too much influence in politics.
Meanwhile, a third of Europeans in the poll said they knew just a little or nothing at all about the Holocaust, the mass murder of some six million Jews in lands controlled by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime in the 1930s and 1940s.
Those are among the key findings of a survey carried out by pollster ComRes for CNN. The CNN/ComRes poll interviewed more than 7,000 people across Europe, with more than 1,000 respondents each in Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Poland and Sweden.
The poll was commissioned and completed before the killing of 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh -- the deadliest ever attack on the Jewish community in the United States.
The poll uncovered complicated, contrasting and sometimes disturbing attitudes about Jews, and some startling ignorance.
About one European in 20 in the countries CNN surveyed has never heard of the Holocaust, even though it’s less than 75 years since the end of World War II, and there are still tens of thousands of Holocaust survivors alive today.
Lack of Holocaust knowledge is particularly striking among young people in France: One out of five people there between the ages of 18 and 34 said they’d never heard of it.
A third of Europeans said that Jews use the Holocaust to advance their own positions or goals.
In Austria -- the country where Hitler was born -- 12% of young people said they had never heard of the Holocaust. Austria also had the highest number of people in the survey saying they knew “just a little” about the Holocaust. Four out of 10 Austrian adults said that.
Across Europe, half of respondents said they know “a fair amount” about the Holocaust, while only one out of five people said they know “a great deal.”
(Americans do not fare any better: A survey carried out on behalf of the Claims Conference earlier this year found that 10% of American adults were not sure they’d ever heard of the Holocaust, rising to one in five millennials. Half of all millennials could not name a single concentration camp, and 45% of all American adults failed to do so.)
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