The creator of Amazon Prime Video's Nazi-hunting drama series Hunters is responding to backlash over the first season.
Writer David Weil's series fictionalises real events that took place in the US in the 1970s, where Nazi fugitives were hiding out in the US. However, the way the writer re-invented those events has drawn criticism.
A statement from the Auschwitz Memorial took particular issue with depicting the conflict as a human game of chess, calling it "dangerous foolishness" that "welcomes" Holocaust deniers.
The group suggested a more respectful plot of the series would have been for Weil to "invent a non-existing camp and Nazi atrocities perpetrated there".
"If you however use a real place, respect its history and suffering of its victims," they argued.
Weil responded on Tuesday (February 25) by clarifying that the series was a tribute to his family's own history in Auschwitz (via Entertainment Weekly).
"Years ago, I visited Auschwitz and I saw the gates my grandmother was forced to enter decades earlier and the barracks she was forced to live in as a prisoner," he said in a statement.
"I saw vestiges of the nightmarish world she had survived. It was an experience that forever altered the course of my life.
"It was the moment consecrated in time and memory that I sought to make good on doing my part – however big or however small – to ensure the promise of 'Never Again'.
"I believed then – as I do now – that I had a responsibility as the grandson of Holocaust survivors to keep their stories alive."
Weil also acknowledged that the chess match was a "fictionalised event", but argued it was "important to script and place in series".
"[It's included] 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," he said.
"And 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.
"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. And I hope we can continue a dialogue on how to achieve those goals."
Hunters season one is now available on Amazon Prime Video.
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