Almost 16% of Italians deny the Holocaust. Over 20% believe that Jews control information and financial power

More than 15% of Italians believe that the Holocaust never happened, a new poll has found. Even more alarming, in 2004, such position was expressed only by 2.7% of the respondents.

Since 1989, the Rome-based research institute Eurispes has compiled a "Rapporto Italia" (Italy report), polling the Italian people on a variety of general topics, as well as on questions related to current affairs.

In the 2020 edition of the report, respondents were asked several questions about Jews and antisemitism.

More than one in six respondents said that they believe the Holocaust never happened, almost five times more than those who held such view when the same poll was conducted in 2004.

According to the report, Holocaust denial was highest among center-left voters (23.5%) and supporters of the populist Five-Star Movement (18.8%).

On the opposite side of the political spectrum, about a third of those who identify as center-right or right wing said that Jews control the economic and financial powers and the news.

Asked about whether there is a real problem of antisemitism in Italy, 61% of respondents said yes.
One in five also agreed with the statement that "according to many Italians" fascist dictator and Hitler ally Benito Mussolini was "a great leader who just made a few mistakes."

"These figures are proof that our perceptions and our warnings have a concrete base in what is happening in our country," Ruth Dureghello, president of the Jewish Community of Rome, told the Italian daily Corriere della Sera.

"The popularity of denialist opinions testifies to the urgent need for a deep reflection by the whole of civil society – beginning with cultural institutions – on the state of our society, especially young people," she added.

Source: Jpost