Jewish groups slam violent 'blast-the-Nazis' Auschwitz uprising video game

Jewish groups have slammed as 'horrific and inappropriate' a video game to be released just after Christmas set during a violent prisoner uprising at the Auschwitz death camp where over one million Jews were murdered.

Sonderkommando Revolt is all the more surprising as it has been developed by an Israeli video game designer who believe in a former life he was a death camp prisoner.

Its backdrop is the uprising in October 1944 at the Nazi’s premier death factory in occupied Poland by those Jews who were assigned to burning the corpses of the gassed and robbing their bodies of gems and gold teeth - the so-called Sonderkommando, or special command.

The video game, under fire from Jewish groups, was made by an Israeli

Maxim Genis, the brains behind the game, says his team of artists, coders and writers is simply trying to make 'an action game only for the challenge, for the fun, to entertain. This is plain blast-the-Nazis fun.'

He says setting the game in Auschwitz was 'an interesting creative challenge to partly recreate a world that was very different than our everyday life, different than anything we know.'

Genis, a Ukrainian-born Jew living in Israel, has drawn criticism around the world for his game which pits prisoners against the S.S.

In the real uprising in Auschwitz the doomed Jews working in the massive crematoria rose up. Although a few S.S. men were killed and some Jews escaped, all we recaptured.

One crematorium was destroyed by the 200 rebels were executed one by one and women prisoners who smuggled in guns and ammunition from a labour facility were later hanged.

The violent, Nazi-killing game is being released just after Christmas

In the video game, the Jews get the guns and take revenge slaughtering their S.S. overseers.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in America worries that games like Sonderkommando Revolt can be harmful to people's understanding of history.

'What happens if this is the only thing a young person gets to know about the holocaust or a concentration camp?', he said.

'When you speak to survivors of the Holocaust, you quickly learn they have difficulty transmitting the horrors that they went through. This is not an issue that should be reduced to a game.'

The game takes place at the October 1944 uprising, only the prisoners get the guns and can slaughter the guards

The Anti Defamation League called it 'horrific and inappropriate.'

But Genis added; 'I have nothing to show disrespect to my people and their suffering at the time. I didn't want to offend anyone.

'I'm not only a Jew myself, not only believe I was a Jew in the Holocaust, but I'm also a spiritual person.'

Genis wrote via e-mail that he was partly inspired to create Sonderkommando Revolt based on his spiritual convictions. The game maker believes that, in a previous incarnation of his life, he was imprisoned as a Jew by the Nazis, served as a Sonderkommando in a concentration camp and died before the events of 1944.

It is due for release on January 1 2011.

The game's maker insists it is just a fantasy game and has no agenda