Geddy Lee Says Holocaust-Deniers "Should Be Shamed"
By Andrew Magnotta @AndrewMagnotta
February 1, 2019
The number of hate groups in American has increased by 20 percent in the past three years.
The number of neo-Nazi groups increased from 99 in 2016 to 121 in 2017. And an estimated 4 percent — about 13 million Americans — do not believe the Holocaust happened.
"They're the worst people in the world to deny that that happened," said Rush front man Geddy Lee of Holocaust deniers in a recent interview centered around his family's own Holocaust story. "It's a shame on humanity, just like racism is a shame on humanity and anti-Semitism is a shame on humanity."
A 2018 study reported concerning findings about acknowledgement and understanding of the Holocaust in American society.
One of the most startling examples is not the number of Holocaust deniers but that almost one-third of Americans think "substantially less" than 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, according to research published by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
"We live in an incredible universe where we are able to learn from other cultures and embrace other cultures," Lee added, addressing Holocaust awareness. "Any kind of thinking that denies that right is wrong-thinking to me. These are people that should be shamed. That's all I can say about it."
Adolf Hitler's fascist Nazi regime is responsible for killing between 15 and 20 million people during the World War II-era genocide. The victims included Eastern European civilians, Soviet prisoners of war, disabled people, homosexuals, political prisoners and approximately 6 million Jews.
Lee's parents were teens when their respective families were imprisoned at Auschwitz, the most infamous Nazi death camp. Lee's father, Morris Weinrib, was one of the only members of his family still alive in Europe by the end of the war.
Geddy's mother, Mary, survived with her sister and mother by sheer luck, Geddy explains.
"[The Nazis] would line them up every day," he said, relating a story from his grandmother. "They would go 'left, right, left, right.' If you went in one direction, you went to the gas chambers; if you went to the other direction, you went to work. So my grandmother would rearrange them in the lineup so they all went in the same direction.
"She believed that if they were all going to perish, they would perish together, and if they were all going to survive, they would survive together. My grandmother was an amazing person. She kept them alive throughout their time in the camps."
You can watch the full interview with Geddy Lee above.
The Claims Conference survey reports numerous breakdowns in awareness of "basic facts as well as detailed knowledge of the Holocaust" in America.
The survey covered a representative sample of 1,350 American adults who were interviewed by phone and online. Respondents were randomly selected and reflected the demographics of the adult population in America.
45 percent of Americans surveyed could not name a single concentration camp.
15 percent thought people should be allowed to display Nazi slogans or symbols today.
11 percent said it is acceptable to hold neo-Nazi views.
68 percent believed their is anti-Semitism in the U.S. today.
The survey found 70 percent of Americans believed people care less about the Holocaust than they used to.
58 percent of Americans said they believed something like the Holocaust could happen in modern times.
93 percent believed the Holocaust should be taught in schools.
96 percent believed that the genocide happened.
Regarding the study, the Anti-Defamation League pointed out to Newsweek that Americans "overwhelmingly—almost universally" know the Holocaust happened.
The ADL is concerned, however, about the level of Holocaust knowledge among young adults, whom the survey found were less likely than older people to express a solid understanding of Holocaust facts.
Photo: Getty Images