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A recent survey found 5 percent of U.K. adults do not believe the Holocaust occurred, among other disturbing results

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January 27, 2019 02:00 PM

Prince Charles has written a personal message memorializing Holocaust survivors, but millions of British adults still deny the horrific mass genocide ever happened.

On Sunday, Charles’ official Clarence House Twitter account shared an excerpt from Charles’s foreword, which reads, “In 2017, I was delighted to be able to welcome survivors of the Holocaust and genocide to a special reception at St James’s Palace. While speaking with them, I was struck by the immense courage and dignity of these remarkable people.”

Holocaust Memorial Day takes place every Jan. 27, the date on which remaining prisoners at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration camp, were liberated in 1945.

The Prince of Wales, 70, is patron of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, and the foreword is included in a commemorative ceremony program, in addition to Charles’ official website.

His statement continues, “I hope most sincerely that as we remember those who perished, and learn from those who survived, we can all work together to ensure that we confront persecution and prejudice with the utmost vigour and prevent such dreadful atrocities from occurring ever again.”

A recent survey commissioned by the HMDT found that 2.6 million U.K. adults (or 5 percent of the population) deny that millions of Jews were systematically killed by the Nazis during World War II. Another 8 percent believe the scale of the Holocaust has been exaggerated, the Trust says.

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The survey of 2,000 people, carried out by Opinion Matters, found “that 64% of people polled either do not know how many Jews were murdered or grossly underestimate the number: 45% of those polled said they did not know how many people were killed, while one in five (19%) believe fewer than two million Jews were murdered,” the HMDT says. The actual number is estimated to be 6 million.

“Despite the figures, the vast majority (83%) of respondents say it’s important to know about the Holocaust and that we can all learn lessons for today from the past (84%), while over three quarters (76%) believe more needs to be done to educate people about what happened,” the HMDT says.

Members of the HMDT called the results “terribly worrying.”

“Such widespread ignorance and even denial is shocking,” Olivia Marks-Woldman, chief executive of the HMDT, said of the survey.

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Prince William at the Hall of Remembrance at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem on June 26, 2018
Ariel Schalit/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Holocaust Memorial Day was established in 2005 with Queen Elizabeth as patron. Prince Charles took over the role in 2016.

The HMDT also pays tribute to those affected by later genocides around the world, including in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

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