Auschwitz memorial slams Amazon for ‘Hunters’ human chess game
A memorial to one of the most infamous Nazi death camps this week slammed an Amazon TV series for portraying a “human chess” game invented during the Holocaust.
The Auschwitz Memorial says the sadistic scene in the Al Pacino-directed Amazon Prime drama “Hunters” belies the true horrors of the massacre of 6 million Jews during World War II.
“Inventing a fake human chess set for @huntersonprime is not just dangerous madness and caricature. It also welcomes future Holocaust deniers,” the memorial said on Twitter Sunday. “We honor the victims by keeping the facts accurate.”
Set in New York City in 1977, “Hunters” follows a group of vigilante Nazi hunters who discover that hundreds of Nazi officials are living in the United States and plotting to establish a “Fourth Reich.” The show has raised eyebrows over its fictional depiction of concentration camps such as Auschwitz, where more than a million people were killed during the Holocaust.
One scene shows a macabre chess game in which humans are used as pieces and murdered by other prisoners when they are “caught”. The Auschwitz Memorial tweeted an image from the scene showing bodies strewn at the edge of a field of checkered grass.
“Hunters” producer David Weil defended the show’s depiction of the Holocaust in response to criticism of the memorial. The show is “inspired by real events” but was never presented as a documentary, he said.
“Why did I think this scene was important to script and series?” said Weil, who said he was a grandson of Holocaust survivors. “To most powerfully counter the revisionist narrative that whitewashes Nazi perpetration, showcasing the most extreme — and true to portrayal — sadism and violence the Nazis perpetrated against Jews and other victims.
Critics of the Auschwitz memorial came days after Holocaust education advocates called on Amazon to stop selling the books of Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher. The memorial and the UK-based Holocaust Educational Trust said titles like Streicher’s ‘The Poisoned Mushroom’ – which would refer to Jews as a ‘devil in human form’ – do not belong to the giant’s products of online retail.
“It is worrying that distinguished publishers like Amazon are making available products that promote racist or hate speech of any kind, let alone those from the darkest period in European history,” wrote Managing Director Karen Pollock. from the Holocaust Educational Trust, in a Friday letter. at Amazon UK.
Amazon removes products that violate its policies governing books that can be sold on its site and invests “considerable time and resources” to ensure those rules are followed, an Amazon spokesperson said. “The Poisoned Mushroom” did not appear in an Amazon search Monday morning, although other Streicher titles were still listed.
“As a bookseller, we believe in providing 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.”