Swedish teachers lack knowledge about the Holocaust

Israel Materials 20 August 2008 13:43 (UTC +04:00)

Swedish teachers consider it is important to teach about the Holocaust but many lack knowledge about it, a survey released Wednesday suggested.

Only two of the roughly 5,000 teachers polled were able to answer all 11 questions in the poll while 70 per cent of the teachers had at least eight wrong answers, the Swedish government agency Living History Forum said.

For instance, many teachers thought that the Gulag - the extensive prison system and forced labour prison camps in the Soviet Union - were extermination camps set up by Nazi-led Germany, dpa reported.

About half of the teachers polled said teaching about the Holocaust was just as important or more important than other subjects in history.

The subject also raised a lot of interest and discussion among students, the survey said.

Similar surveys were planned in other countries, the agency said.

The five-year-old Living History Forum was set up under the previous Social Democratic government to promote issues relating to tolerance, democracy and human rights.

Eskil Franck, head of the agency, said on Swedish breakfast radio that Swedish teachers needed more knowledge abut the Holocaust.

It is "extremely important that teachers have the expert knowledge to be able to challenge groups and movements that question the Holocaust and events during the Second World War," he said.