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The Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness in Australia Survey

posted on 2022-01-27, 00:00 authored by Steven Cooke, Donna-Lee FriezeDonna-Lee Frieze, Andrew SingletonAndrew Singleton, Matteo VerganiMatteo Vergani
The Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness in Australia Survey



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Deakin University

Place of publication

Geelong, Vic.



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Research statement

The Gandel Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness in Australia Survey is the first national, large-scale survey of Australians’ knowledge of the Holocaust, their attitudes to Holocaust education and commemoration, their feelings towards Jews and their perspectives on the regulation of antisemitism and hate speech. Funded by the Gandel Foundation and undertaken by researchers from Deakin University, the survey, which consisted of over 70 questions, reached over 3,500 people across all Australian states and territories and is the largest survey of its type ever undertaken. The survey revealed that Australians’ knowledge of key historical facts about the Holocaust was generally good. Rather than general levels of educational attainment, the Gandel Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness in Australia Survey revealed that specific Holocaust education at school or via museums is associated with higher levels of knowledge about the events of the Holocaust. A key objective of this study was to understand not just how much Australians know factually about the Holocaust as a historical event, but how aware they are of the catastrophe and its enduring impact in the present day. Australians of all ages showed high levels of Holocaust awareness, with Millennials scoring particularly highly. The survey revealed widespread support for Holocaust education and museums, with almost 80% of Australians valuing Holocaust memorials and museums, and nearly 70% supporting compulsory Holocaust education in schools. It also found a strong correlation between Holocaust awareness and pro-social feeling towards minority groups, refugees, and First Nations Australians. However, Australians’ knowledge about their own history in relation to the Holocaust is significantly lower than their knowledge about the Holocaust more generally. The survey found mostly low levels of Holocaust denial, but some evidence of Holocaust minimisation and a worrying persistence of latent antisemitic stereotypes.

Publication classification

A6 Research report/technical paper


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