Those of us raised after World War II assumed that the norm would be no more anti-Semitism. How silly we were to think that a sixty year window would eradicate 2,000 years of hatred that culminated in unimaginable slaughter in the 20th Century. The respite is over, the attacks have resumed in earnest. The latest indignity against world Jewry?
A strategy game sold on an American website offers players to act as SS Nazis and kill as many Jews as possible taking part in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising of 1943, a governemtal forum against anti-Semitism has uncovered.
The board game is on sale for USD 16. The player in the game is a fighter in a Nazi unit made up of a few dozen SS soldiers, in possession of tanks, mortars, and machine guns. Every round in the game symbolizes two or three days of fighting. The player receives a map of the ghetto and must “purify” it.
“Good god: The Jews have weapons,” the game’s instructions for players read, also quoting the words of the uprising’s commander Mordechai Anielewicz.
“Suddenly a shout was heard after SS soldiers were shot as they were entering the Warsaw Ghetto,” a description says in the game’s instructions.
Jewish and Israeli sources are planning on submitting a complaint to the American authorities against the game’s distributors.
The governmental forum against anti-Semitism stressed that the game is anti-Semitic, and that it’s distribution is banned by US law.
The Ynet article doesn’t say who distributes the game. I’m sure someone will come along and announce that it’s a fringe Neo-Nazi organization or a known anti-Semitic group, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, vicariously living someone else’s Jew-killing glory days.
If this were an isolated thing, I’d agree that the group’s level of fanaticism would be a factor in determining whether the game matters or not. However, in this day and age, when Jews are reviled at every level, and when mainstream political forums serve as homes for the worst kind of anti-Semitic rants, this game is no game. It can’t be laughed off as a fringe manifestation. It is merely the most visible in a string of attacks against the most consistently maligned and scapegoated group in the history of the world.