The Auschwitz museum has slammed Amazon's new television series "Hunters," saying that a fictionalised scene from the show starring Al Pacino was "dangerous" and would encourage "future deniers."
"Auschwitz was full of horrible pain & suffering documented in the accounts of survivors," the Auschwitz Memorial, which preserves the site of the Nazi death camp in Poland, tweeted on its official account.
"Inventing a fake game of human chess for @huntersonprime is not only dangerous foolishness & caricature," it said. "It also welcomes future deniers. We honor the victims by preserving factual accuracy."
The tweet was accompanied by a photo of a scene from the series that showed humans used as chess pieces.
The drama series, which stars Pacino as a Holocaust survivor, is set in 1977 and follows a group of Nazi hunters who discover hundreds of high-ranking Nazi officials living in the US and conspiring to create a Fourth Reich.
The series, advertised on its website as being inspired by true events, premiered on Amazon's streaming service last Friday.
Its creator, David Weil, hit back at the criticism on Monday, saying in a lengthy statement sent to AFP that he had visited the death camp, where his grandmother was imprisoned.
"While 'Hunters' is a dramatic narrative series, with largely fictional characters, it is inspired by true events," he said. "But it is not documentary. And it was never purported to be.
"In creating this series it was most important for me to consider what I believe to be the ultimate question and challenge of telling a story about the Holocaust: how do I do so without borrowing from a real person's specific life or experience?"
Referring to the "chess match" scene, he said it was a "fictionalized event."
"Why did I feel this scene was important to script and place in series?" he said. "To most powerfully counteract the revisionist narrative that whitewashes Nazi perpetration, by showcasing the most extreme -- and representationally truthful – sadism and violence that the Nazis perpetrated against the Jews and other victims.
"And why did I feel the need to create a fictional event when there were so many real horrors that existed?" he added. "After all, it is true that Nazis perpetrated widespread and extreme acts of sadism and torture -- and even incidents of cruel 'games' –- against their victims. I simply did not want to depict those specific, real acts of trauma."
Operated by Nazi Germany from 1940 until 1945 in then-occupied Poland, Auschwitz was part of a vast and brutal network of camps across Europe set up as part of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler's "Final Solution" of genocide against an estimated 10 million European Jews.
Nazi Germany killed more than 1.1 million people at Auschwitz, most of them Jewish.
© 2020 AFP