A video installation showing naked men and women frolicking in a former Nazi concentration camp gas chamber has drawn criticism from The Organization of Holocaust Survivors in Israel, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre and several other Jewish groups.
The video, called Game Of Tag, formed part of a 2015 exhibition called Poland – Israel – Germany. The experience of Auschwitz, and was shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow.
When the piece was originally displayed in the museum no filming location was specified but now, according to the Times of Israel, it has emerged that it was filmed in the former Stutthof concentration camp, near Gdansk, Poland.
The film shows a group of naked men and women chasing each other around the former gas chamber at the camp where some 65,000 people were murdered by the Nazis.
During the Holocaust, many of the Nazis' victims were stripped naked before being sent into the gas chambers.
The exhibition was sponsored by the Israeli Embassy in Poland but the embassy has since issued a request for the video to be removed from exhibition.
Collette Avital, director of The Centre of Organizations of Holocaust Survivors, told Israel’s Channel 2 news: “The exhibits were not chosen by the Foreign Ministry… even though I support the freedom of expression, there are parts in the exhibition that are repulsive and offensive.”
On Wednesday, after the filming location was revealed, a letter co-signed by several Holocaust survivors’ groups was sent to Poland’s President Andrzej Duda.
The letter asked whether the artists had applied for permission from the Stutthof administrators to make the video, whether any clear rules exist for proper conduct at the site, and how these are enforced.
“Extensive research recently revealed that the site where the video was filmed is the gas chamber at the Stutthof concentration camp,” the letter said. “It is this discovery which prompted the demand for clarifications from the Polish leaders and the administration of the Stutthof concentration camp site (and museum).”