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Jewish groups criticize Amazon Prime’s ‘Hunters’ Holocaust portrayal as ‘foolishness’

‘Hunters’ trailer
WATCH: ‘Hunters’ is an Amazon Prime show that follows a group of people in New York during the late 1970s who are Nazi hunters.

Various Jewish groups have been critical of Hunters, Amazon Prime’s new show, for its portrayal of the Holocaust.

The drama series, starring Al Pacino and Logan Lerman of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, follows a group of vigilante Nazi hunters in the 1970s.

The Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and State Museum took to Twitter to share their disappointment in the show, claiming it misrepresents real tragedies and is factually incorrect.

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“Auschwitz was full of horrible pain and suffering documented in the accounts of survivors. Inventing a fake game of human chess for @huntersonprime is not only dangerous foolishness and caricature,” the organization tweeted.

The tweet refers to an aspect of the TV show that depicted a fictional human chess game created by Nazis in concentration camps that forces Jewish people to kill each other.

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“It also welcomes future deniers,” the message continued. “We honor the victims by preserving factual accuracy.”

A fan of the show responded to the museum’s tweet, writing that films should have the freedom to fictionalize real events.

The museum replied: “In other words, you say: ‘a movie can lie about reality as it is just a movie.’ Here we absolutely disagree. This is disrespectful and dangerous.”

The series’ producer David Weil has spoken out against the criticism with a lengthy 600-word statement, published by TV Line. In it, he references his grandmother, who survived the Holocaust and inspired much of the show.

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He says that his show is inspired by true events, but isn’t a documentary and was never meant to be one.

“If the larger … question is can we even tell stories about the Holocaust that are no documentary, I believe we can and should,” Weil writes, adding that many acclaimed films have done that.

Weil also said that though the human chess scene was fictional, it reflected the “sadism and violence that the Nazis perpetrated” against Jewish people before and during the Second World War.

Not everyone agreed with the museum’s critique of the series.

The case against accused Canadian extremist Patrik Mathews
The case against accused Canadian extremist Patrik Mathews

One person tweeted back: “With all due respect but this series is a fiction, never says it’s based on real events,” while another wrote: “When did we all start censoring artistic license? In no way does the show put Nazis in a good light, so why be offended by a made up story?”

One Twitter user compared the show to HBO’s Watchmen, writing: “[Watchmen] had sensational scenes rooted in historical fact. Educated through shock and got people Googling to find that the scenes were indeed sadly true, offering a lasting education.”

Around 1.1 million people, most of them Jews, were killed at Auschwitz.

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca

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