Germans underestimate Nazi forced labour: survey

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Less than one in five (19 percent) Germans is aware of the full scale of the use of forced labour by the Nazis in World War II, a survey showed on Friday.

Only 13 percent of Germans over 65 correctly estimated the number of people from all over Europe forced to work in horrendous conditions for the German war machine at more than 13 million, the poll by Infratest-Dimap showed.

Those aged between 19 and 49 scored better, with 23 percent answering correctly. Eighty percent of 14-18 year-olds were interested or very interested by the topic, but only 28 percent said it was sufficiently taught in schools.

The survey was commissioned by the Remembrance, Responsibility and Future Foundation (EVZ), created in 2000 primarily to secure billions of euros (dollars) in compensation for forced labourers from the German state and firms.

It was published ahead of the opening of an exhibition on forced labour on September 27 in Berlin's Jewish Museum.

© 2010 AFP

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