Adolf Hitler, a soccer coach?
Photo: Visual Photos

British youth: Hitler was a soccer coach

Study carried out ahead of British Remembrance Day reveals alarming ignorance among UK schoolchildren's knowledge of world wars, with one in 20 believing Holocaust was celebration marking end of WWII

One in six children in Britain believe Auschwitz is a World War Two theme park, and one in four think the atom bomb was dropped on Pearl Harbor – a study conducted in the UK among 2,000 schoolchildren showed.


The study, published in the Daily Mail on Friday, tested children between the ages of nine and 15 on their knowledge of facts of both world wars, and reveals disturbing ignorance of the kids' knowledge of the circumstances, the dates, and the people at their center.


One of the study's more disturbing findings is that one in 20 British children believe Adolf Hitler was a German soccer coach, not the leader of the brutal Nazi regime.


One in 20 think the Holocaust was a celebration held to mark the end of the war and one in 10 believe the SS refers to author Enid Blyton's Secret Seven series, not Hitler's personal bodyguards.


One in 12 said The Blitz was a massive clean-up operation in Europe after World War Two.


Britain marks its annual Remembrance Day next week, on November 11, but 40% of its schoolchildren are unaware of this, according to the study.


When asked to point to the nation's symbol of Remembrance day – a red poppy – 12% of the children pointed to the McDonald's gold arches instead.


Only half of the children know that the term D-Day refers to the invasion of Normandy – with a quarter of them thinking it means 'Dooms Day'. A quarter of the children believe a nuclear bomb was dropped on Pearl Harbor which spurred America's involvement in the war.


The study was conducted by war veterans' charity Erskine in the run-up to Remembrance Day.


Major Jim Panton, chief executive of Erskine, said: "Some of the answers to this poll have shocked us", adding that he believes more emphasis should be placed on educating society on the matter.


"Schoolchildren are the future of the country and it is important that we help them to learn about our history," he added.


One encouraging finding was that 70% of the students said they would like to be taught more about the world wars at school.


פרסום ראשון: 11.07.09, 10:44
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