A video produced ahead of Holocaust Remembrance Day, produced by a group dedicated to converting Jews to Christianity, has been condemned as "the most tasteless YouTube video ever."
"That Jew died for you," a video produced by 'Jews for Jesus' has already gained over one million YouTube hits.
Viewers of the three-minute video are presented with scenes of low-budget Holocaust kitsch, with terrified Jews bundled into railway cars, scared children looking out to barbed wire and shouts of German heard over whining violins.
Everything is drained of colour and appropriately grim until, what's this, who's the glowing chap carrying a cross? It's Jesus!
Waiting in a selection queue outside some poorly photoshopped Auschwitz gates, Jesus drags his cardboard cross over to a Nazi Guard, who bites his lip and gives him a seductive(?) look up and down, before uttering "Showers (gas chambers)! Just another Jew".
The whining violins crescendo and the video announces: "That Jew died for you," in large letters.
According to a report in Christian Today, the message behind all this is to "help redefine the conversation and reshape views of Jesus."
But, considering Jews for Jesus is an organisation whose mission statement is "to make the messiahship of Jesus an unavoidable issue to our Jewish people worldwide," it has been accused of using the Holocaust to garner more membership in the messianic group.
But the clip has sparked controversy, with Jay Michaelson on The Forward deeming it "the most tasteless YouTube video ever."
"It's hard to fathom who thought this project would be a good idea. Any Jew with personal, familial, or even historical memories of the Holocaust will immediately find it to be an outrage. Not to state the obvious, but it desecrates the memory of six million Jews to use their suffering as a way to convert Jews to Christianity," he said.
Jews for Jesus defended the video, saying: "The Holocaust has been used – perhaps more than any other event or topic – to prevent Jewish people from considering the good news of Jesus."
"Only Jesus the Jewish Messiah can replace the fear and anxiety in our hearts with a peace from God that passes all understanding, because He Himself is the Prince of Peace. That Jew, Jesus the Messiah, died for all of us, so that we may live," Christian Today cited the organisation as saying.
"Challenging this misunderstanding must involve changing the focus of the conversation about Jesus and the Holocaust within the Jewish community."Suggest a correction