Al Pacino
Al PacinoReuters

Acclaimed American actor Al Pacino has received staunch support from the Anti-Defamation League over his decision to bow out of a play adapted from the novel of a well-known supporter of Nazism and its leader Adolf Hitler. 

Knut Hamsun, a Norwegian author known for pioneering psychological literature, turned to Nazism later in life, advocating for the Nazi occupation of Norway and keeping correspondence with a number of high-ranking Nazi officials. 

After Hitler's death, the aged author wrote a glowing eulogy for him, saying: "He was a warrior, a warrior for mankind, and a prophet of the gospel of justice for all nations."

Pacino pulled out of an Aveny-T stage adaptation of "Hunger" by Hamsun "because he couldn’t come to terms with Knut Hamsun's support for the German occupation and Nazism," the Copenhagen theater company's manager, Joh Stephensen, said. 

Praising Pacino's decision on Sunday was ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman. 

“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."

“I, for one, can empathize with Al Pacino’s decision not to act in a play authored by a one-time Nazi sympathizer,” Foxman added.