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Netflix Under Scrutiny for Filming Stranger Things Season 4 in Former Nazi Prison


Jewish and Rromani communities are calling for Netflix to take accountability following its decision to film Stranger Things Season 4 in a former Nazi prison, Primetimer reported Tuesday. The streaming service filmed portions of the wildly popular science fiction series at the Lukiškės prison in Vilnius, Lithuania; the prison was notorious for its Nazi involvement during World War II and its proximity to the horrific Ponary Massacre in which 100,000 Jews, Rroma, and political prisoners were murdered.

In addition to the filming that took place in the Lithuanian prison, AirBnB began offering a Stranger Things-themed hotel experience inside Lukiškės, which began hosting visitors June 4.

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A petition started on Change.org, which now has nearly 20,000 signatures, aims to hold Stranger Things and Netflix accountable for Holocaust erasure, demanding reparations and an apology for the direct harm caused to these communities. “Not only does this mock the shared trauma of the Jewish and Rroma community,” the petition reads. “But it further desecrates the living memories of Holocaust survivors and their descendants.”

Related: How Are Stranger Things Fans Responding to the Violence in Season 4?

“We, Jews and Rroma, call you to sign this petition and hold Stranger Things and Netflix accountable for their Holocaust erasure. Money earned from this season should be put back into the Jewish and Rromani communities of Lithuania as reparations for the damage this season is causing and a public apology from AirBnB, Netflix, and Stranger Things should be issued immediately with a full understanding as to how this adds to the erasure of the victims of the Holocaust and ongoing persecution of Romani communities. We also demand the immediate shutdown of the AirBnB. “


Call to Action Comes Following Another Stranger Things Controversy

The decision to film at Lukiškės prison is not the first controversy that has arisen from the newest season of Stranger Things.

With the release of Season 4, some fans have taken to getting numbers tattooed on their wrists as a subtle reference to the show. This is meant to be a nod to protagonist Eleven’s backstory; “El” was raised in lab where she was assigned a number rather than a name and had that number tattooed on her wrist.

The tattoos, which quickly gained negative attention on social media, are similar to the numbers forcibly tattooed on Holocaust victims as the Nazis attempted to strip them of their identities and names.

The petition addresses the trend as well, writing: “Fans of Stranger Things are now getting numerical tattoos on their arms because they are inspired by the show, the Stranger Things Instagram has even reposted photos their fans have submitted; thus encouraging their behavior. “


“We will not be erased,” the powerful call to action reads. “The Holocaust is not for the entertainment industry to build wealth off of and turn into theater. It is our genocide and for Rroma it is ongoing.”

The full statement and petition can be found on Change.org.



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