Horrific death camp computer game where players are SS guards murdering inmates comes under investigation
A horrifying computer game in which players take on the role of SS guards as they murder prisoners in the notorious Nazi-German concentration camp Auschwitz has come under investigation.
The online game, which mixes survival and first-person shooter genres, takes place in Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau.
In the game entitled ‘The Cost of Freedom’, players can take on the role of SS-men who chase down and murder prisoners. The promotional material also suggests that players can decide which prisoners are sent to work and which to the gas chambers.
The trailer shows a player-controlled SS guard selecting a group of prisoners and sending them to a gas chamber. This is followed by a scene from inside the gas chamber in which the virtual characters are murdered by gas poisoning.
Other players are given the option of being a concentration camp prisoner gathering food and other materials or planning an escape.
Now the district prosecutor in Warsaw has launched an investigation after the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) which was set up to investigate Nazi and Communist crimes, said that the material by Ukrainian computer games studio Aliens Games was an insult to the Polish nation, the propagation of a fascist system and the incitement of hate based on national differences.
The alleged crime was reported to the prosecutor by Dr. Jarosław Szarecki, president of the Institute of National Remembrance. The allegation focuses specifically on the use of the phrase “The cost of freedom – a game about polish death camps”, as well as scenes in which prisoners are shot and murdered in gas chambers that are accompanied by the phrase “Polish concentration camps, where is the honour of the great Polish nation, you Polish dogs.”
The 3-minute trailer was originally released on the producer’s YouTube site. However, scenes from the video have been remade into another video appearing on a YouTube channel under the name Pierro Cocco in which the offending phrases are sung over a heavy metal sound track.
It is the audio content on this film that IPN’s allegations refer to.
Although seemingly produced by a Ukrainian company, there are suspicions that the game is a provocation intended to sow discord between Poles and Ukrainians.
In letter sent to the justice minister, the chief prosecutor and the foreign minister, Kukiz’15 MP Józef Brynkus mentions that although the official producer of the game is a Ukrainian company, the only person that can be found connected to the company is Russian citizen Dymytriy Drybin, who is closely connected to Studcinemafest Moscow, a student cinema festival in the Russian capital.
“This information makes it possible to believe that we are dealing with a political provocation against Poland on an international level,” the MP wrote in his letter.
Aliens Games has not released any other computer games and no date for the premiere of The Cost of Freedom has been given. Also noteworthy is that the Ukrainian company’s Facebook and YouTube accounts have little content and do not seem credible.
Back in August this year when the game’s trailer was released on YouTube, Polish computer games website PPE.pl was a forerunner in suggesting the game is not seriously intended for release.
“It looks like a cheap provocation that is just intended to arouse public opinion,” it wrote on its website.
“Concentration camps have been used as a theme in computer games before, but the game makers always used common sense, which is obviously lacking in this case. Of course concentration camps can be depicted in computer games, by this should be approached in the right way,” it added.
The Warsaw prosecutor’s office said that “evidence is currently being gathered at this stage” about who is behind the material.