How? Why? Jeez…

The results of polls such as these always prompt a swift hanging of the head in shame and the contemplation of how we reached this point:

Adolf Hitler was the manager of Germany’s national soccer team, and Auschwitz was a World War Two theme park, a poll released by the Daily Mail on Friday said, questioning U.K. children aged 9 to 15.

The study, which was conducted by war veterans’ charity Erskine in the run-up to Remembrance Day, tested 2,000 children for their knowledge of last century’s two world wars.

One in 20, according to the poll, thought the Holocaust was the celebration at the end of the war and one in ten said the SS was Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven.

The poll also showed only half of the respondents knew D-Day was the invasion of Normandy, with a quarter of those asked believing it was “Dooms Day,” with another quarter thinking a nuclear bomb was dropped on Pearl Harbour, spurring America’s involvement in the war. [Source]

How do such general knowledge gaps occur?

This is not just at junior level – I have been told of university students who think Jordan is in Lebanon and that Iran is a small country on the Mediterranean.

How, how?

2 comments on “How? Why? Jeez…

  1. defpunk
    November 8, 2009

    “One in 20, according to the poll, thought the Holocaust was the celebration at the end of the war”

    That’s just shocking and personally I find it offensive too. Unless they just don’t teach the second world war in history class in school, I can’t imagine why some people would have the poor knowledge that they do about one of the most important events of the 20th century.

    On the other hand, I’ve talked to a teenager on a message board who actually believed that the war on Iraq started because “Iraq attacked America because it wanted to steal their gold”. (I am not joking – the kid was serious, and that’s exactly what he said).

    There’s been interviews with kids in Germany, and one of them didn’t know that George Bush was the president of America (He was at the time), and his response to the wars were “I’m for it because they fucked the others who fucked them up bigtime” (Most accurate translation from German that I can manage). The general ignorance of kids these days is alarming, though not really surprising seeing this society’s fixation with specialising people’s knowledge in a direction that will eventually get them a job in a certain area from as early as possible, instead of ensuring that children and teens are given a broad base of knowledge and a sound understanding of history and current events.

  2. Layla
    November 8, 2009

    I know. It is so odiously ironic. And yes, they do teach WWII history in schools – though not until GCSE (age 15-16) level. Still, it’s strange…

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This entry was posted on November 7, 2009 by in Europe, Frivolities & Miscellaeny.
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