More than 2.6 million British people think the Holocaust is a myth, according to a new poll released Sunday on the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Five percent of British adults do not believe millions of Jews were systematically murdered by the Nazis, according to the survey, conducted by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) and quoted by The Independent.
A further eight percent of the British public claims the scale of the genocide has been exaggerated.
Almost two-thirds of the British public either grossly underestimate the figure of six million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust or have no idea how many had died, the poll found.
One in five said fewer than two million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, while 45 percent said they did not know.
“I find these figures terribly worrying,” said Steven Frank, a Dutch Jewish survivor of the Holocaust who was forced into a concentration camp at the age of seven following the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands.
“If we ignore the past, I fear history will repeat itself,” he said, according to The Independent.
Frank, whose father was gassed at Auschwitz-Birkenau, speaks to school pupils about his experience of Nazi persecution and said he had encountered Holocaust deniers at talks.
“In my experience, people don’t have a solid understanding of what happened during the Holocaust and that’s one of the reasons I am so committed to sharing what happened to me,” he said. “The only way to fight this kind of denial and antisemitism is with the truth.”
73 percent of British adults believe more should be done to educate people about the Holocaust, according to the HMDT’s poll of 2,006 people.
The Community Security Trust, which monitors anti-Jewish hate crime, says that more than 100 anti-Semitic incidents are recorded in Britain every month. The organization warned last year that bigots were becoming “more confident to express their views”.
In the first half of 2017, the Jewish community of the United Kingdom recorded 767 anti-Semitic attacks, the highest figure recorded within six months since monitoring began in 1984.
The year before, the CST released data showing that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in Britain rose by more than a third to record levels.