Auschwitz memorial criticizes Amazon for “Hunters” human chess game


A memorial to one of the most infamous Nazi death camps criticized an Amazon TV series this week for depicting a human chess game invented during the Holocaust.

The Auschwitz Memorial said the sadistic scene in the Amazon Prime drama directed by Al Pacino “Hunters” belies the true horrors of the massacre of 6 million Jews in World War II.

“Inventing a fake human chess set for @huntersonprime is not just insanity and dangerous caricature. It also welcomes future deniers,” the memorial said on twitter Sunday. “We honor the victims by keeping the facts correct.”

Set in New York City in 1977, “Hunters” follows a group of vigilant Nazi hunters who discover that hundreds of Nazi officials live in the United States and are plotting to establish a “Fourth Reich”. The show raised eyebrows at its fictional portrayal of concentration camps such as Auschwitz, where more than a million people were killed in the Holocaust.

One scene shows a macabre game of chess in which humans are used as pieces and murdered by other prisoners when they are “caught”. The Auschwitz Memorial tweeted an image of the scene showing bodies strewn around the edge of a checkered grass field.

“Hunters” producer David Weil defended the portrayal of the Holocaust on the show in response to criticism of the memorial. The show is “inspired by real events” but never presented itself as a documentary, he said.

Amazon’s “Hunters” stars Logan Lerman and Al Pacino.

Josh Radnor in Amazon "Hunters"

Josh Radnor in “Hunters”

Amazon's Hunters Human Chess Scene

The scene of human chess

“Why did I think this scene was important for the script and the production? Said Weil, who said he was a grandson of Holocaust survivors. “To counter most powerfully the revisionist narrative that whitewashes the Nazi perpetration, by presenting the most extreme – and most truthful – sadism and violence that the Nazis perpetrated against Jews and other victims. “

The criticism of the Auschwitz Memorial came days after Holocaust education advocates called on Amazon to stop selling books by Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher. The memorial and the UK-based Holocaust Educational Trust said that titles like Streicher’s “The Poisoned Mushroom” – which allegedly refers to Jews as a “devil in human form” – do not belong to the products of the Church. online retail giant.

“It is worrying that distinguished publishers like Amazon are making available products that promote racist or hate speech of all kinds, let alone those from the darkest period in European history,” wrote Karen Pollock, Managing Director from the Holocaust Educational Trust, in a Friday letter. at Amazon UK.

Amazon is removing products that violate its policies governing the books that may be sold on its site and investing “significant time and resources” to ensure these rules are followed, an Amazon spokesperson said. “The Poisoned Mushroom” did not appear in an Amazon search on Monday morning, although other Streicher titles are still listed.

“As a bookseller, we believe it is important to provide access to the written word, including books that some may find objectionable,” the Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. “We take concerns seriously and listen to feedback. “


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