As each year passes, knowledge of the atrocities of the Holocaust continues to decline in society. That worrying trend was highlighted in a recent American Jewish Committee public opinion survey, which shows that only 53 percent of Americans over the age of 18 know that approximately 6 million Jewish people were killed in the Holocaust.
A similar study showed even worse numbers for the Netherlands, where only 46 percent knew the total number of Jewish people killed in the Holocaust. Most of the Dutch citizens polled did not know the Holocaust took place in their own country, as about 75 percent of Jewish people from the Netherlands were killed in the Holocaust.
As alarming as these polls are, things aren’t likely to get better. The further we get from the Holocaust, the fewer survivors remain to tell their stories. As the years pass, it becomes easier and easier to deny and discredit the horrific accounts of the persecution and murder of Jewish people from less than 100 years ago. That’s why days like International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which we celebrate this Friday, January 27, are so vital to preserving the memory of those who were killed and to remain vigilant in defense of our Jewish friends. These are our responsibilities as people who love the Lord and His Chosen People.