Amazon faces double whammy for selling Nazi propaganda and for made-up Holocaust scenes in its new Prime show

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Getty
  • Amazon faces fierce criticism for selling antisemitic books and “caricaturing” the suffering of Holocaust survivors on its new Prime series “Hunters.”
  • On Friday, the Auschwitz Memorial’s official Twitter account tweeted that Amazon was making a profit on “selling vicious antisemitic Nazi propaganda” by selling the books of antisemite Julius Streicher.
  • It also criticised Amazon’s new Prime show, “Hunters”, saying its portrayal of the Holocaust was “dangerous foolishness and caricature.”
  • David Weil, creator and executive producer of Hunters, told BI that the key scene being criticised was “a fictionalized event” included “to powerfully counteract the revisionist narrative that whitewashes Nazi perpetration.”
  • An Amazon spokesperson said it believes “providing access to the written word is important, including books that some may find objectionable.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Amazon is under fire for selling Nazi propaganda books and for the portrayal of the Holocaust in its new Prime show, “Hunters.”

On Friday, the Auschwitz Memorial’s official Twitter account tweeted that Amazon was making a profit on “selling vicious antisemitic Nazi propaganda.”

The tweet identifies books that were apparently for sale on various international Amazon sites, including Amazon’s UK and German sites. The books’ author, Julius Streicher, was a member of the Nazi party and notorious antisemite who authored the antisemitic newspaper Der Stürmer.

One called “Julius Streicher’s Political Testament: My Affirmation,” remains on sale on Amazon.com and Amazon.de at the time of writing, while a Spanish-language version of Streicher’s “Der Giftpilz” – the poisonous mushroom – remains on sale on Amazon.com at the time of writing. Business Insider was unable to independently verify if the other books referenced remain on sale or not.

In another tweet Sunday, the Memorial account accused the Amazon Prime TV show “Hunters” of “dangerous foolishness & caricature.”

Hunters – which premiered on Friday – portrays a group of Nazi hunters in 1970s New York City, who decide to act after discovering that US officials aim to create a “Fourth Reich” in the country. Starring Al Pacino, the show holds an average rating of 3.2 stars on Amazon.com from roughly 1,500 user reviews.

Specifically, the account criticised a fictional chess scene in which inmates of Auschwitz concentration camp are forced to kill each other while being used as pieces in a chess game.

The full post read: “Auschwitz was full of horrible pain & suffering documented in the accounts of survivors. Inventing a fake game of human chess for @huntersonprime is not only dangerous foolishness & caricature. It also welcomes future deniers. We honour the victims by preserving factual accuracy.”

In a statement sent to BI, David Weil, creator and executive producer of Hunters, said the human chess scene was “a fictionalized event” included “to powerfully counteract the revisionist narrative that whitewashes Nazi perpetration.”

His statement continued: “Why did I feel the need to create a fictional event when there were so many real horrors that existed? 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.

“If the larger philosophical question is can we ever tell stories about the Holocaust that are not documentary, I believe we can and should. ‘Hunters’, like a myriad of acclaimed films on the subject, does not always adhere to literal truth in its pursuit of capturing the representational truth of the Holocaust.”

He added: “I am forever grateful to the Auschwitz Memorial for all of the important and vital work that they do, for keeping the memory of victims and survivors like my grandmother, Sara Weil, alive. I believe we are very much on the same side and working toward the same goals,” he added.

The Auschwitz Memorial account on Twitter is run by Pawel Sawicki, who told Insider in January that he uses the site to educate people about the Holocaust and to combat misinformation.

Speaking to BI, an Amazon spokesperson said: “As a bookseller, we believe that providing access to the written word is important, including books that some may find objectionable. We take concerns seriously and are listening to feedback.

“Amazon has policies governing which books can be listed for sale; we invest significant time and resources to ensure our guidelines are followed, and remove products that do not adhere to these guidelines.”