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Amazon's Hunters Comes Under Fire For Fictional Depiction of Holocaust Events

The show's creator, David Weil, responded in a statement.


Amazon's Hunters, a show about a band of Nazi hunters in the late '70s, has been criticized by the Auschwitz Memorial for a fictional scene set in a concentration camp. This is sparking a larger debate around whether stories about the Holocaust should be purely documentary and if fictionalized Holocaust depictions are appropriate.

The scene in question takes place in the first episode and features a macabre and violent chess game that uses real human prisoners as game pieces. A Jewish chess master is forced to play the game using the human pieces, and whenever a chess piece is knocked off the board, a prisoner dies.

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Auschwitz Memorial, in a series of tweets, stated that the fake game is "not only dangerous foolishness & caricatures," and that it also "welcomes future deniers." In a reply to a Twitter user who commented that Hunters isn't a documentary, Auschwitz Memorial replied, "Auschwitz was a real place where people suffered. It would be much better if the authors of the movie tried to raise awareness of a true event of the Holocausts by showing something closer to the truth rather than choosing to create a fake story that never happened in Auschwitz."

The show's creator, David Weil, responded with a full statement and pushed back against the thought that stories about the Holocaust must be documentary in nature. "[It's my] point of view that symbolic representations provide individuals access to an emotional and symbolic reality that allows us to better understand the experiences of the Shoah," he responded to Deadline.

Elaborating on why he felt the need to create fictional events when there were many real acts of horror were documented, Weil also commented, "I simply did not want to depict those specific, real acts of trauma."

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