AN inflammatory video depicting Jesus Christ being sent to the gas chambers at Auschwitz has been removed from the Jews For Jesus Australia website after organisations representing Australian Holocaust survivors voiced their outrage in an AJN article earlier this month.
Representatives from the Jewish Holocaust Centre in Melbourne and the Association of Holocaust Survivors and Descendants in Sydney slammed the short film, called That Jew Died For You, saying it had caused Holocaust survivors “distress” and was an “unconscionable affront”.
At the time the article was written, Bob Mendelsohn of Jews for Jesus Australia said the video was not intended to trivialise the Holocaust or offend survivors and said he would consider removing it from the website.
“[We] are sincerely sorry for any hurt which some experienced thinking we were intentionally aggravating haunting memories,” Mendelsohn told The AJN.
“Many on our worldwide staff have too many relatives who perished in the camps to have intended that aggravation.”
The video is still promoted on the homepage of the US Jews For Jesus website.
“The landing page extras feature beautiful personal stories from survivors and a short essay on Jewish art and the suffering of Jesus with his people. Along with articles on the Holocaust, it was a very good and sympathetic voice,” Mendelsohn said on Monday.
“Unfortunately, most in this region who saw the short video never made it to that landing page … As a result, we pulled it today.”
The video shows an actor dressed as Jesus and bearing a large wooden cross at the “Arbeit Macht Frei” gates at the entrance to Auschwitz. He is sent to the “showers” by a Nazi SS officer, who proclaims, “Just another Jew”.
It has garnered around 1.3 million hits on YouTube, since its release in the lead up to Yom Hashoah in April.
“The video was of considerable concern and it was appropriate that it was removed,” said Warren Feinberg of the Jewish Holocaust Centre. “It would have been better not to have been screened in the first place.”
A screen grab from the clip That Jew Died For You.