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Public views on preserving the experiences of victims of Nazism in Ukraine

Between September 9 and September 25, 2014 Kiev International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) conducted the nation-wide public opinion poll. The fieldwork lasted between September 12 and September 21, 2014. The poll was conducted in 110 settlements (PSU) in all regions of Ukraine, except the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Lugansk region.

Overall 2035 respondents were interviewed face-to-face during the field stage.

Statistical sample error (with probability of 0.95 and design-effect of 1.5) does not exceed 3.3% for indicators close to 50%; 2.8% for indicators close to 25%; 2.0% for indicators close to 10%; 1.4%  for indicators close to 5%.

This survey was intended, in part, to estimate the number of victims of Nazism who are currently living in Ukraine. If we define the victims of Nazism in the narrow sense (ostarbeiters, Holocaust victims, prisoners at concentration camps or ghettos and prisoners of war), than the number of victims in Ukraine would be about 200 thousand people. If we consider all the elderly who suffered from National Socialism injustice at the time of Second World War, their number would be about 8.5% – 10.0% of people older than 70 years or 430 – 500 thousand people.

To reveal an importance of victims’ experience for modern Ukrainian society, the respondents were asked a question “Do you believe it is important or not important for modern Ukrainian society to remember and properly understand the experience of victims of Nazism?

The results show that:

  • An absolute majority (78%) of Ukrainians think that it is important for modern Ukrainian society to remember and properly understand the experience of victims of Nazism.
  • Victims of Nazism and people who know someone who suffered from National Socialism are generally express higher levels of concern about memory retention and proper understanding of the lessons of the past.
  • In addition, people from Western region and elderly people tend to attach more importance to this issue than people from Eastern oblasts and young people.


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