Israel comes to standstill to remember Holocaust victims

Children liberated from Auschwitz in World War II 1945

Children liberated from Auschwitz in World War II 1945

Buses and cars stopped on Israeli streets and passengers stepped out of their vehicles to commemorate the observance of start of Holocaust Remembrance Day.

It gets worse. Only 23 percent of Americans identified Auschwitz as an extermination camp, while 41 percent could not identify Auschwitz at all.

Auschwitz-Birkenau has become a symbol of Nazi Germany's genocide of European Jews, one million of whom were killed at the camp between 1940 to 1945. The poll also revealed that 22% of people aged 18-24 hadn't even heard of the Holocaust, while 11% percent of 25-34-year-olds claimed to be unfamiliar with it.

Attended by 250 local high school and college students, as well 250 second-generation Holocaust survivors and Jewish communal leaders, the event focused on Kichka's personal story of his childhood, adolescence and life overshadowed by the Holocaust-from Belgium to Israel, from nightmares to amusing anecdotes, and ultimately, to moments of joy and liberation.

"The survey found there are critical gaps both in awareness of basic facts as well as detailed knowledge of the Holocaust", said a news release on the findings. "And more than half of Americans believe that the Holocaust could happen again".

"They come from all over Europe, and their experience being around Jewish kids is important on an interpersonal level, but it also gives a strong message at a time when anti-Semitism in Europe is rising", Rosenman said.

"This study underscores the importance of Holocaust education in our schools", Greg Schneider, executive vice president of the Claims Conference said in a statement. We record the stories of those who endured the most depraved of conditions, but is anyone listening?

Schoen Consulting conducted the February 23-28 survey of 1,350 USA adults by phone and online.

Israel's president on Thursday said there was a "deep disagreement" between his country and Poland over the Holocaust and called on Warsaw to study its history - an allusion to the responsibility of some Poles for the deaths of Jews. "Tonight, we will honor those who perished, those who survived, and those who dedicated their lives to telling their stories and ensuring that the memories of the Holocaust are never forgotten".

"I was 13 years old when they took us all in, in 1944", said Zoltan Matyah, 87, a Jewish Russian survivor of the camp where 1.5 million people, mostly Jews, were killed.

Just a handful of states ― California, New Jersey, Illinois, Florida, New York, Michigan and Rhode Island ― require students to learn about the Holocaust, according to Education Week.

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