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Google Play takes action on Auschwitz 'game'

An app-based “game” posted on Google Play that let users “live like a real Jew in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp” has been removed after it was widely condemned.

At United with Israel, Colette Avital of the Center of Organizations of Holocaust Survivors said, “We cannot understand how the top management of Google approved such a cynical game, turning the martyrdom of six million Jews into an object for amusement and enjoyment.”

The World Jewish Congress noted that the comment section attached to the app offering attracted anti-Semitic comments.

“One user expressed his enjoyment at playing the game and said the only problem was ‘that every 20 minutes I find the full oven and I have to come to remove ash’,” the report said.

And at Forward.com, Drew Gerber’s report noted that it wasn’t the first time Google Play has been caught with anti-Semitic products, having recently removed a “Google Chrome extension that modified webpages so the user could identify Jewish people and organizations.”

Holocaust survivor Anita Dittman’s life story is told in “Trapped in Hitler’s Hell,” a project from WND Books, and in a WND Films documentary by the same name.

United With Israel reported the app originated with a vocational training school based in Zaragoza, Spain, where its developers claimed it was “just a parody.” Google Play officials confirmed they terminated it for violating the site’s “hate speech” policy.

The report continued: “The Italian newspaper La Repubblica first reported about the app, which was downloaded thousands of times before being removed. It described the app as ‘a macabre game that replicates the Holocaust in a digital version.'”

Google Play is the official app store for smartphones that use the Android operating system.

The World Jewish Congress only weeks ago raised the issue of Google refusing to remove anti-Jewish songs and clips from the YouTube platform.

WJC President Ronald Lauder said at the time: “Although we raised the issue with Google Germany and informed them of the problem, thousands of video clips containing obscene songs which, inter alia, call for the gassing of Jews and glorify the Nazi Holocaust, continue to be easily accessible via YouTube. Albeit illegal in Germany, Google has no qualms in making music of extremist bands available. Such inaction is scandalous, and it really beggars belief.”

But 1.1 million people are estimated to have been killed at Auschwitz during the Holocaust, and Jan Markell of Olive Tree Ministries – who along with Holocaust survivor Anita Dittman wrote “Trapped in Hitler’s Hell,” which is being made into a movie of the same name, – said: “So the Holocaust has been turned into a game now? Why not ask the survivors who are left if they feel they endured a game?”

She said the Jews “suffered more than most know anything about and just because they were different and were the people of God.”

“Why is it that Google can shut down a Christian organization like Olive Tree Ministries – when we were airing a segment about the Holocaust – yet they delayed in acting on this ‘game’?”

She said people “need to be aware that the surge in anti-Semitism is a reminder that fascism always lurks over the horizon.”

“People don’t speak up because they don’t think these kinds of things can happen to them. They may be surprised. Christians and Jews are in the scopes of a lot of people. We are in dark days when such serious issues are turned into playtime. They can say it was all a parody but parodies can easily turn into reality when Jews are fleeing from Europe and elsewhere.”

Markell’s YouTube channel, as WND reported last year, was abruptly suspended after she posted an interview with Tom Doyle about his book, “Killing Christians: Living the Faith Where it’s Not Safe to Believe.” The video was reinstated as a result of WND’s story.

Holocaust survivor Anita Dittman’s life story is told in “Trapped in Hitler’s Hell,” a project from WND Books, and in a WND Films documentary of the same name.

WND also reported recently on plans to turn the “Trapped in Hitler’s Hell” story into a feature film.

Dittman warns that Germany was a Christian country and a democracy that was transformed into a dictatorship because the vast majority of Christians put their trust in one man.

“Trapped in Hitler’s Hell” is the true account of Holocaust horror but also of God’s miraculous mercy on a young girl who spent her teenage years desperately fighting for survival yet learning to trust God.