A study released in Germany suggests that nearly half of German teenagers are unsure Adolf Hitler was a dictator, or that the former East Germany was run by Communists.
The Local reports that researchers at Berlin’s Free University conducted a study titled “Late Victory of the Dictatorships?” which revealed a shocking ignorance by half of German teens regarding the not-too-distant history of their country.
The study questioned a sample of 7,500 students who are around 15 years old. It found only half were sure the Nazi government was a dictatorship, and only a third were certain the former East German government was a dictatorship. Around 60 percent of those surveyed were sure that the current united German government was democratic.
Klaus Schroeder who headed the study blamed German education authorities for the ignorance, the Belfast Telegraph says. Schroeder said “This is shocking. These are students that have almost no political knowledge at all."
Shroeder added: "The low estimation of historical knowledge is clearly having an effect" as he said "The schools really should take action."
The study also drew a strong response from Germany’s Minister of State for Culture and the Media who said “All responsible people in Germany have to wake up.”
According to the Holocaust Task Force the teaching of the Holocaust is mandatory in all German schools for students aged 14 and up.