- The Washington Times - Monday, October 17, 2016

An annual report released by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation found that one-third of millennials think former President George W. Bush is responsible for more killings than Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.

The body count of Stalin’s victims before and after World War II is estimated by scholars to be anywhere between 20 million to 60 million people, but roughly 33 percent of young Americans still seem to think Mr. Bush’s time in the White House was deadlier.

The nonprofit organization’s survey turned up other troubling data as well. Some of the opinions held by millennials include:

  • 21 percent said they would vote for a communist.
  • 25 percent viewed Vladimir Lenin favorably.
  • 33 percent were unfamiliar with Lenin.
  • 42 percent were unfamiliar with Mao Zedong.
  • 42 percent of millennials viewed capitalism favorably.

Lee Edwards, co-founder of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, told The Daily Signal on Monday that such “widespread ignorance” of communism’s history was the impetus for the organization’s creation in the 1990s.

“Ronald Reagan said that ‘freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction,’ ” said Mr. Edwards, a distinguished fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. “It is the solemn obligation of this generation to educate the rising generation about the manifold victims and crimes of the deadliest ism of the last 100 years — communism.”

The group’s annual report contacted 2,300 people for its survey, which has a margin of error of 2.8 percent.

“The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation was established by unanimous act of Congress on December 17, 1993, and signed by President Bill Clinton,” the group says on its website. “The act authorized VOC to construct, maintain, and operate in the District of Columbia an appropriate international memorial to honor the victims of communism. Today VOC carries on the original mission of ensuring that those victims are remembered and that the history of communist tyranny is known to future generations.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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