A majority of Swedish teenagers don't know what communism is and don't know which countries neighbour their own, a poll published Wednesday showed, raising questions about Sweden's education system.
Ninety percent of teens aged 15 to 20 don't know which foreign capital is closest to Stockholm, 90 percent don't know what the Gulag is, and 40 percent think communism has increased prosperity in the world.
"They have a lack of understanding for basic concepts such as dictatorships and democracy, and that is unsettling. There must be a major change in their level of knowledge, and schools in particular must take responsibility," Camilla Andersson, the head of the Information About Communism organisation that commissioned the study, told Swedish news agency TT.
[Schools Minister Jan Bjoerklund] said he planned to propose more history lessons for students, and would recommend that the Holocaust and crimes committed in the name of communism in the Soviet Union be mandatory elements of the history curriculum.
The results of the study, published in daily Dagens Nyheter on Wednesday, also showed that 50 percent of the 1,004 teens questioned didn't know that Berlin was the capital of a country bordering the Baltic Sea, 82 percent didn't think Belarus was a dictatorship and 43 percent said they thought communism had claimed fewer than a million victims in the 20th century.
Fifty-six percent said they didn't know if Western market economies were democratic societies, and 22 percent said communism was a democratic social structure.
Maybe my initial sense of outrage is misplaced; for all I know, these are "good" students, who might well be successfully parroting the information fed to them by their professors, eager to brainwash a new generation in the left's latest attempt to "practice communism correctly", unlike those misguided and mis-informed 20th century marxists like Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, Fidel Castro, Lenin, Krushnev, and Every Single Other One Of Them.