1,000 Americans were asked the following question: "Think back to World War II when Jews in Europe were forced into concentration camps and many were killed by the Nazis. If you were living in this time period, would you have risked the possible imprisonment and death of yourself and your family to hide Jews?" But what's surprising about the results isn't the answers – it's how a haredi news website reported them.
In a poll done to promote a new Holocaust film, 1,000 Americans were asked the following question: "Think back to World War II when Jews in Europe were forced into concentration camps and many were killed by the Nazis. If you were living in this time period, would you have risked the possible imprisonment and death of yourself and your family to hide Jews?"
Here's how the haredi/hasidic news website VIN reported the story:
A scientific poll born out of a Holocaust-based film reveals that 1 in 3 American adults say they would have said “no” if asked to hide a Jew were they around during the Holocaust.
HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com (http://bit.ly/1iCZ1TO) reports that the poll was conducted as part of a marketing campaign aimed at promoting the digital release of the film “Return to the Hiding Place,” which chronicles the the lives of Christians who put their lives on the line to shelter Jews from the Nazis during World War II.
The film’s director Peter Spencer hatched the idea for the poll based on an interview in which the film’s star, John Rhys-Davies, asked his interviewers if they would have risked their safety to help Jews had they been in position to at the time.
The poll—-which surveyed 1,000 American adults—-showed that married American adults were more likely to say they would have helped Jews, while men, more than women, answered in the affirmative.
Additionally, people who identified as religious were more likely to answer “yes,” and affirmative Southerners outnumbered Northerners.
VIN's report was accompanied by a photo of USA spelled out with lit candles. The "S" of USA, however, was in the shape of swastika.
What is egregiously bad about VIN's reporting – besides the photo and its failure to accurate report what the survey question actually was – is that it censors the poll results.
Here's how the Hollywood Reporter reports those poll results. I've put the VIN's key omissions in bold italic type:
…Sixty-nine percent said they would [hide Jews] while 31 percent said they would not, with males more likely than females to answer in the affirmative. Married people were more likely to say yes than were single people, and homosexuals were more likely to say yes than were heterosexuals. The religious were more likely to answer yes than were the irreligious, and Southerners were more likely to say yes than were those from the Northeast.…
In other words, VIN failed to report that gays are more likely to hide Jews than straights and that people in the Northeast, where the highest concentration of haredim live, are less likely to hide Jews than someone living in the South.
There could be several reasons why people in the Northeast are less likely to hide Jews than people in the South. Southerners tend to be more religious than Northeasterners, for example. But if the study controlled for that the poll results would mirror something a professor of mine, David Cooperman, told me more than three decades ago. During the Holocaust, areas with the largest Jewish populations (which also had the most haredi Jews) had much poorer survival rates than areas with smaller Jewish populations (which almost always had a much smaller percentage of haredim, as well).
That's a lesson Satmar and its allies – like VIN – should learn, not hide.
[Hat Tip: Seymour.]