An Australian Jewish group on Friday called for Amazon to stop selling a board game in which players win by putting Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler in power.
The Melbourne-based Anti-Defamation Commission called on the internet retail giant to “show respect to the survivors” and said its objection to the “Secret Hitler” game had been sparked by a complaint from someone whose father survived the Holocaust.
“Using Hitler as part of a board game whitewashes his inhuman crimes, is highly distasteful and shows that still today many do not understand the inexpressible horrors of the Holocaust,” Dvir Abramovich, the group’s chairman, said in a statement.
“It is deeply troubling that Amazon Australia is providing another popular avenue for Hitler’s name to be revived and normalized, and reach a new generation of young people who may think it’s cool to play him. We call on the company to immediately stop selling this game,” the statement said.
The Anti-Defamation Commission addressed its complaint to Amazon Australia, but the game is also on sale on Amazon’s US site, where over 1,400 reviewers gave it an average rating of 4.8 out of five stars.
On Amazon’s US site, it was the 36th best seller in the “Toys & Games” category as of writing.
The product is billed as a “social deduction game” for five to 10 people that takes place before World War II. A team of liberals tries to hold the government together and prevent Hitler from taking power, while a smaller team of fascists, one of whom secretly plays as Hitler, tries to take over the government and install the Nazi dictator as chancellor.
The game was launched with a Kickstarter campaign in 2015, raising close to $1.5 million from over 34,000 donors.
The game does not include any Nazi symbols or images of Hitler.
A 2017 update added cards bearing the images of US President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and other members of the Trump administration.
The company’s website advises people who “don’t think there’s anything funny or cool about fascism” to send complaints to the White House.
In 2017, the makers of the game said they sent a copy to every member of the US senate, saying “although our game takes place in 1933 Germany, we thought you and your staff might find our game relevant as you negotiate the balance of power with the Trump White House.”