ADL Supports Al Pacino’s Decision to Pull Out of Play Written by Nazi Sympathizer

New York, NY, May 29, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today voiced support for actor Al Pacino’s decision not to appear in a play whose author once publicly expressed sympathy for the German occupation of Norway and who praised Adolf Hitler as a “preacher for the gospel of justice.”

Mr. Pacino’s manager has indicated the actor pulled out of a stage adaptation of “Hunger,” by Norwegian author Knut Hamsun, because he was unable to come to terms with the playwright’s support for the German occupation of Norway and Nazism.

“No matter how far removed we are from the history of that period, it is still incomprehensible that some people in the cultural elite continued to defend Hitler long after his role in the Holocaust and the genocide of Six Million Jews and millions of others became fully known,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.  “I, for one, can empathize with Al Pacino’s decision not to act in a play authored by a one-time Nazi sympathizer.”

After Hitler died, Hamsun wrote an obituary casting the Nazi dictator in a positive light. And late in life the playwright came out as a supporter of Nazi Germany’s occupation of his native Norway.

Mr. Pacino was scheduled to appear in Copenhagen last week for a 3-D filming of him narrating “Hunger.”


ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.