Nearly half of German teens in a recent study were unable to say whether the Nazi regime was a dictatorship or not, the German news site The Local said Wednesday.
Researchers at Berlin's Free University surveyed about 7,500 students around the age of 15 about governments that have ruled the country.
Only about half could say for certain the Nazi government was a dictatorship, while a third said they were sure the former government of East Germany was.
"This is shocking," said study leader Klaus Schroeder. "The low estimation of historical knowledge is clearly having an effect."
The most politically savvy students were from the former eastern states of Thuringia and Saxony Anhalt, while those least aware of the difference between dictatorship and democracy were from the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia.