Ukrainian Programmers Scrap Auschwitz Game Following Public Outcry

Updated: Jan 23, 2020

Ukrainian gamers advertised a game about Auschwitz and then canceled its production amid an outcry.

Dmitri Dibin and Alexey Kutischev from Odessa began in August advertising the game titled “The Cost of Freedom,” the Polish Rzeczpospolita daily reported Monday. According to the paper, the ads included the tagline “Polish Death camp.” Polish officials have vocally opposed the labeling of Nazi camps built on occupied Poland as being Polish because this transfers responsibility for the Holocaust from Germany to Poland, the officials said.

On Wednesday, Kutischev wrote on Facebook: “Due to the widespread of misinformation about the game in various TV outlets and other media we are forced to freeze development for an undetermined time.”

The District Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw is investigating a complaint against the designers based on legislation passed in January in Poland which prohibits blaming the Polish nation for Nazi crimes, Rzeczpospolita reported.

The game allowed players to play the character of a prisoner attempting to escape or of an SS guard. All characters can kill other characters, according to Rzeczpospolita’s reporter Agata Lukaszewicz. She added in her article her personal opinion that the designers of the game have “gone far too far” by allowing players to play SS guards “pursuing and murdering prisoners, deciding which group of prisoners to send to work and which to the gas chamber.”

The game features selection scenes, in which players get to decide who is murdered, as well as mass executions of prisoners.

A video advertised as a trailer for the game shows people dressed in striped prisoner uniforms choking to death in a room full of gas. The Nazi guard says: “Now it’s time for the ovens.”