Survey: Many young Poles anti-Semitic

April 20, 2013 at 5:03 PM

WARSAW, Poland, April 20 (UPI) -- Large numbers of young Poles harbor negative feelings abut Jews, a poll of high school students in Warsaw suggests.

Four out of 10 of the respondents said they would not like having a Jewish classmate, and 44 percent said they would not like Jewish neighbors, the Jerusalem Post reported.

An even higher percentage, 60 percent, said they would not like being in a romantic relationship with a Jew. Among those surveyed, 45 percent would not like having Jews in the family.

The survey -- commissioned by the Jewish community in Poland and conducted by the Homo Homini Institute of Public Opinion -- found many high school students are ill-informed about the history of Polish Jews. Most underestimated the size of the Jewish community in Warsaw before World War II, saying Jews were 18 percent of the population, when in fact 30 percent were Jewish.

The survey found 44 percent believed the suffering of Poles and Jews was equal during the Holocaust, while 24.7 percent said Poles suffered more, and 27 percent said Jews. A majority gave the correct date, 1943, for the uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto and identified Mordechai Anielewicz as its leader.

About 3 million Polish Jews were killed during the war, with only about 10 percent of the prewar population surviving or escaping. While many Poles risked their lives to help Jews, others collaborated with the Nazis.

In 2000, the Jewish population of Poland was estimated to be between 30,000 and 55,000.

Joanna Korzeniewska, a spokeswoman for the Jewish community of Poland, said the survey was commissioned to help in planning future social and educational activities.

"As it now turns out, we need them even more than we thought before," she said.

The institute surveyed 1,250 17- and 18-year-old students. No other polling details were reported,

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