(JTA) — Norway’s public broadcaster apologized for referencing Nazi death camps and the Jewish genocide in a satirical cartoon about the financial situation of university students.
“This cartoon should not have spoofed the Nazi genocide, and we’re sorry this reference obstructed what the sketch is really about,” a spokesperson for the NRK broadcaster wrote on Facebook last week following complaints about the video, which on Thursday remained accessible on NRK’s online satirical section.
It features three young characters who are taken by an older character on a tour of what appears to be a Nazi concentration camp similar to Auschwitz-Birkenau in southern Poland. When the group reaches an oven full of ashes and the remains of a human rib cage, one of the students enthusiastically inquires whether the oven is for making pizzas.
The video, which opened the annual best-of compilation for 2016 of NRK’s Satiriks online satirical video platform, ends with the same students triumphantly holding up a rental contract while the other two students unload boxes at the concentration camp.
“The animated video is about the student economy, which often has students in desperate situations,” NRK wrote. “To make this point, we used visual references to a concentration camp.”
Norway, where the Nazis installed the collaborator Vidkun Quisling as a puppet ruler, was home to 1,700 Jews before the Holocaust, according to Yad Vashem. Despite some protests by Christian faith leaders and the help of resistance fighters to Jews, a total of 763 Jews were deported from Norway by the Nazis and local police to death camps. Only 24 survived to return to Norway after the war.