ADL’s Statement on Revenge Fantasy Mod at Odds With Comments on Tarantino Film

Pinged by Kotaku for a response to the Wolfenstein mod, Sonderkommando Revolt, the Anti-Defamation League says that the "Holocaust should be off-limits for video games" and they hope that the developers will abandon the game.

Sonderkommando Revolt is a Wolfenstein modification that re-imagines an October 7, 1944 event at the Auschwitz concentration camp where Jewish prisoners finalized a months-long plot to blow up one of the camp’s notorious crematoriums. They succeeded in that mission and managed to kill three of the guards, but 451 people either died during the explosion or were put to death by the guards. The mod changes all that, instead turning one prisoner into a Nazi killing machine.

"Perhaps well intentioned in its creation, its execution and imagery are horrific and inappropriate," an Anti-Defamation League spokesperson told Kotaku. "The Holocaust should be off-limits for video games. We hope the developers will reconsider and abandon the game."

"This rudimentary video game is an offensive portrayal of the Holocaust," the spokesperson told Kotaku. "With its unnecessarily gruesome and gratuitous graphics, it is a crude effort to depict Jewish resistance during this painful period which should never be trivialized."

This seems at odds with a position the group took in 2009 concerning Inglorious Basterds. The ADL praised the film in an August 18, 2009 statement:

"’Inglourious Basterds’ is an allegory about good and evil and the no-holds barred efforts to defeat the evil personified by Hitler, his henchmen and his Nazi regime. If only it were true!

Employing drama, comedy and romance with the quintessential Quentin Tarantino touch, the film is entertaining and thought-provoking. Christoph Waltz’s portrayal of Col. Hans Landa, ‘the Jew Hunter,’ is chilling; Brad Pitt’s Lt. Aldo Raine signifies the determination and brashness of Americans to get a job done."

Source: Kotaku, ADL

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  1. 0
    CyberSkull says:

    It would not surprise me if a studio exec or producer behind Inglourious Basterds was also a fundraiser/supporter of the ADL. Small developers like modders just don’t have the economic or creative clout to deal with (make a large donation or a very public forum to declare their work "art") any accusations tossed about by any large organization.

    On the other hand, I would not have heard about this mod if it weren’t for the fuss raised by the ADL. So once again a watchdog is crying wolf and popularizing what they are vindicating.

  2. 0
    Neeneko says:

    Big budget traditional media creation with power to critisize the ADL.

    Small budget new media creation that the ADL has no fear about displeasing.

    ADL gets to hurt someone and no one important cares.

  3. 0
    HarmlessBunny says:

    ADL, a couple questions: 

    You praise Inglorious Basterds sensationalising hunting down SS officers and Hitler? Yet a Wolfenstein 3D mod where you hunt down Nazi’s killing jewish prisoners, you condemn? When is media showing Nazi’s getting killed is bad or good? I must admit I am confused, as from where I am standing this looks like hypocracy. 


    James Fletcher, member of ECA Canada

  4. 0
    beemoh says:

    That all being said, Kudos to the ADL for this line:

    "Perhaps well intentioned in its creation"

    It would have been very easy for the ADL to really go off the deep end at the developers for the game, and accuse them of actively doing this for attention or to intentionally offend Holocaust survivors/decendents of victims as often happens when major world events become games or mods- so well done them.


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