ANAHEIM, CA – Last week, Rabbi Jacob Silverman called for a national boycott of Universal Studios and its parent company, Seagram, because of the theme park’s recent addition of the new thrill ride, “Mr. Schindler’s Wild Ride.”
Based on 1993’s Academy-award winning film, “Schindler’s List,” the attraction carries fun-lovers and thrill seekers alike, through the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps. According to Universal’s press release, the ride is an “…eye-popping ride through the killing camp of Dachau, all brought to life through the magic of the latest in audio-animatronics and 3-D computer graphics!”
Visitors of the attraction will be packed into authentic WWII German trains, where they will be transported to a replica of the infamous death-camp. Greeted by a friendly sign over the entrance reading, “Fun Will Make You Free,” the ride takes the trains through the gas chambers (the “Zany Zyklon-B” room), cremation ovens, various torture rooms, all while robot SS soldiers leap out and exclaim “Juden!” while rat-a-tat-tatting their sub-machine guns. An on-board guide, armed only with his microphone and sharp wit, draws belly laughs from his captive audience when he pretends that the gas chambers are filling up with deadly poison and the ovens are being pre-heated. His well-rehearsed line, “Oh my God! They’re turning on the ovens! Holy shit, we’re gonna burn!” causes the young and old alike to jump with fear, but they are soon soothed by the announcer’s friendly laughter.
In his press conference, Rabbi Silverman damned the attraction, stating, “This is an absolute outrage. Over 6,000,000 human beings lost their lives in the greatest genocide in history. To mock the Holocaust in such a manner is unthinkable. Shame will be on the heads of the Seagram executives and their families for generations to come. Plus, the ride isn’t even that great, I mean animatronics? Come on! Couldn’t they have at least added a 20-foot drop into a pool of human waste or something?”
In a press release, Universal Studios Vice President James L. Penderson said, “The holocaust of World War II was a tragic and horrible event that we as members of the human race should never forget. At the end of every ride through Dachau, the riders are shown a short film titled ‘Hitler: What A Dick.’ This film shows just how evil Hitler and the Nazi party really was and it also teaches kids not to hate. We want to make this ride educational and entertaining at the same time.”
In the midst of the vocal opposition, some groups have come out in favor of the ride. Los Angeles Unified School District president Bob Slater defended the park’s decision saying that the installation of the ride is educational.
“Sometimes, you’ve got to reach students in new and exciting ways,” he stated. “This is a fun way to teach kids about the Final Solution!” Slater said.
When asked about the ride’s educational value, Mike Farmer, sophomore at Fairfax High, said, “Yeah the holocaust thing was totally fucked up and I really felt bad for all those Jewish people who died there. But, dude, I was so pumped when that dude Mengele was waiving his scalpel around! I almost shit my pants!”
Due to the impending boycott, Universal Studios has announced that it will delay the production of two new movie-themed rides, “The Killing Fields of Fun” and “Loony Platoon-y!”