29 December 2004

Jewish organization issues a study showing 63% of the population of a U.S. city could not recognize that "Auschwitz" was a concentration camp.



Coming on the heels of the December 2, 2004 British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) televised poll which revealed that nearly half of Britons had never heard of the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz, a Jewish organization in Florida has released a study demonstrating 63% of a typical United States city could not identify the infamous concentration camp.

The BBC study immediately set off a frenzy of discussion in the international Jewish community and in response, the International Society for Sephardic Progress (ISFSP) conducted a survey in the form of a random sampling of the population of Orlando, Florida, where the ISFSP is based, between December 5 - 26, 2004. "We were stunned to learn the BBC study revealed 45% of people questioned had never heard of Auschwitz. The Orlando findings, 63%, are even more discouraging," stated Mr. Shelomo Alfassa, Executive Director of the ISFSP.

The recently released study is entitled "Identification of the Term 'Auschwitz' a Random Sampling Conducted in a U.S. City." To obtain an accuracy level of ±3.39% with a confidence level of 95%, a total of 840 people had to be interviewed. The final results showed that of the people questioned, only 36.6% of Orlando's population could identify what Auschwitz was, demonstrating 63.3% could not. Only 39.7% of men and 34% of women in Orlando could identify the notorious concentration camp Auschwitz where over 1,000,000 Jews were systematically murdered by the Germans. Other statistics show men were able to recognize Auschwitz 5.7% more than women could. Further, it illustrated that women between 21-30 are the group which were least able to state they knew what Auschwitz was.

Upon issuing this study, Mr. Alfassa declared:

Holocaust education continues to be added to the curriculum of training programs for young students across the United States, however, as the years progress and as the survivors of the Holocaust are passing, many Holocaust programs increasingly are in jeopardy. Add to this the many revisionist Websites which exist on the Internet, the primary place where school children turn for information, and we surely will develop a generation which will be deficient in knowledge of the Holocaust. We must continue to make strides which will lend to making genocide and Holocaust education available to children of all backgrounds.

The final findings of the study which were issued December 29, 2004 have been formally submitted to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. The study is available for the public on the Internet at www.isfsp.org/study.html.



The International Society for Sephardic Progress is a Jewish agency developed to serve the Sephardic community--the descendants of the Jews of historic Spain, Portugal, North Africa and the Levant who share both common religious and cultural bonds. Although a Sephardic organization, the ISFSP is a Jewish advocacy agency first and foremost.



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