By Sheree Trotter on Newsroom…

New Zealand has had a patchy history with the Holocaust. With a recent resurgence in antisemitism, it’s time we stepped up efforts to ensure it’s given no ground here.

The dust is settling after a flurry of commemorative events and articles, locally and internationally, marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. In the days leading up to UN International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27), the hashtag #WeRemember circulated on social media, with encouragement to contemplate that horrific period of history.

UN Holocaust Remembrance Day falls at the height of New Zealand’s summer holiday season, when sun and surf are uppermost in many Kiwi minds. So it’s hardly surprising that Holocaust commemoration commands relatively little attention.

Of greater concern, however, is that according to a poll undertaken in July 2019, New Zealand appears to suffer Holocaust amnesia. The multi-choice survey revealed that only 43 percent of respondents knew that approximately six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, 20 percent thought fewer were killed, 37 percent were unsure, and worryingly, 30 percent were unsure whether the Holocaust had been exaggerated or was a myth.

Read Sheree Trotter’s full article on Newsroom here.

For an article on a related topic: Read Scott Hamilton’s article on New Zealand’s links to the Holocaust on The SpinOff here.