Controversial subject matter


#1

To keep it short: I want to write a gamebook from the perspective of a citizen of the Weimar Republic, drafted into the Heer or Luftwaffe during WWII, who assists with subverting Nazi policies, assisting antipartisan groups in occupied territories and participating in assassination plots against an angry little man. You’d rise through the ranks according to your battle performance, bravery, political maneuvering, etc.

The point is to highlight that not all Wehrmacht soldiers were Nazi sympathetic (many were outright hostile) and that defiance could be just as deadly–or rewarding–for a non-SS soldier. In short: Rommel.

SS won’t be an option, unless as a disguise for an assassination attempt.

Obviously, this could be controversial, so I want the community’s input.


#2

I’d say go for it. Sounds interesting.


#3

Yes Go for It Although you must be careful to not offend people
I FULLY SUPPORT IT
GO FOR IT


#4

As with all things in that vein, it’ll boil down to execution and perspective.
Writing about Nazis and WW2 itself is largely done, but the point of view by which you portray them will have a large effect on how its received.

Think of the Call of Duty games or recent films, some of the Marvel ones for example.


#5

Will there be an option to just be a professional German soldier and not meddle with politics and sabotage your own nation, while personally disapproving of the Fuhrer, like Manstein?

And the SS was quite open in its recruitment policies, it was ironically the most ethnically diverse military unit on the planet.


#6

I wouldn’t play it, but then I also wouldn’t read a book like that and I wouldn’t watch a movie. I’m much too fond of the fantasy/sci-fi genre that I don’t tend to read much outside of those genres.

Now an alternative history, steampunk, Germany with magical elves and time-travel… and laser-guns… mmm probably still wouldn’t be my cup of tea.

If writing a historical game interests you go for it. It won’t be a game for everyone but you shouldn’t let that stop you.


#7

Exclusion of the SS is because of the duties they typically performed.


#8

Where’s the fun without political intrigue?


#9

I say go for it, sounds good.


#10

I see no problems, here. May as well go for it.


#11

Not really that controversial considering the protagonist is actively trying to sabotage the Nazis. Now if the protagonist was a genuine SS member then it might be controversial.

The biggest challenge of writing something like this is fact checking in an effort to keep it as historical as possible. But I assume you’ll have that covered so I’d say go for it.


#12

I don’t see why anyone working for the Nazis would want to sabotage their operations; but I can see it would be an interesting game.

That said, I think it would be less offensive if you used different names. Same historical incidents, different names. Same people, different names. Same places, different names.


#13

Basically people that got sucked in by the initial rhetoric, joined the party, but then found out that it wasn’t what they thought. Can’t really quit or else you’d be under suspicion, so you’d have to either make the best of it which could mean trying to actively sabotage them or just trying to keep your head down and not make waves.

Also there were probably more than a few in the military that didn’t really agree with the ideology, but saw themselves as patriots serving Germany first and foremost. ADNox gave Rommel as an example.

Hell, there were even high ranking Nazis that didn’t even buy into the ideology and were just going along with stuff because it was placing them in status of power. (Of course that would still be helping Nazis for cynical self serving reasons, and probably not what the story is going for)


#14

Well, I don’t know much about history, but I did see Hitler’s speeches… They were mesmerizing, and I don’t even understand German, and I wasn’t even there in person.

So, it’s hard to imagine anyone with a will capable of resisting that voice. But maybe there are such people.

Amway, my suggestion is to switch some names to avoid controversial subject matter.


#15

Oh, don’t avoid controversial subject matter. And for heaven’s sake, don’t try to avoid offending everybody.

And yes, obviously there were people who weren’t mesmerized by a speech. Hitler was just a man, not a supervillain.


#16

I’d say go for it, in fact your thread gave me a creepy idea of a choice game where you play as a victim of the Holocaust and must guide them. (Although their end is set in stone :frowning: )


#17

Why would their end be set in stone? There were survivors.

http://books.google.com/books/about/Night.html?id=Nhw6kwVcVuQC


#18

@ADNox There were, but building a good character connection with the MC would kill the player once they find out that they die, it would even create more of a connection when they find out that the MC was a real person.


#19

Firstly, I must say it would be an honor to assist with this as something of a history nerd. It sounds quite interesting, and something that might be good.

Secondly, I want to say I am very damn concerned. Being anti-Nazi did *not* make one a good guy, and in fact most of the A-listers we know of (Rommel, Stauffenberg, etc) absolutely were not.

Really, when you boil it down, huge gobs of the German “resistance” were basically as totalitarian as the Third Reich was. On the far left, you had the German Communist Party (or KPD), who were more or less the harbingers of Weimar’s collapse and who practiced the sort of bloody street thuggery Hitler and Roehm used without the political savvy or ideological willingness to use the electoral system to subvert it.

On the right, we more or less had the loyalists of the Second Reich, which was noticeably better than the Third, but *not by thaaaaat much.* They were more or less supporters of a very reactionary, very brutal autocracy that would allow themselves expanding markets, estates, and territory on which to build their dynasties, all those who had to die or be enslaved to do it be damned. They willingly engaged in genocide (case in point: Germany’s African colonies, the attempts to crush the ethnic Poles, the policy in Alsace-Lorraine after 1870, and general occupation policy overall), coverups for genocide (case in point: the Ottoman Turkish Empire, the Habsburg occupation of the Balkans- especially Serbia- and what have you), flaunting of any form of reform, and crushing those who resisted. After the Bismarckean Empire was defeated and destroyed, they then promptly began to wage war on their own people, the left, and the Weimar Republic itself, to the point where the German Military sanctioned or abetted so many coup attempts it is downright insane and the times they *did* act to protect Weimar were less because they accepted it or supported Democracy and more because of pragmatism. (They did not want a far-left dictatorship replacing Weimar because it would obviously hurt them, they largely believed the Kapp Putsch was premature, and the opposition to the Munich Beer Hall Putsch was more because Hitler’s Co-Conspirators in charge of Bavarian politics decided to leave him out and Hitler acted to force their hands). Rommel *absolutely was* one of these people, and it shows.

And then you have the unholy hybrids where Far Left and Far Right meet, like Stauffenberg himself (who favored allying with the Soviets to cement control over Central and Western Europe by war if need be) and Otto Stasser’s Black Front (basically surviving Roehmites and the more revolutionary left wing of the National Socialist party like the guys who got axed during the Night of the Long Knives).

Let me be absolutely clear: These people DID NOT support Weimar, did not support Democracy, and Did Not support Peace. They differed from the Nazis mainly in ideological orientation, bloodthirstiness, populism, and pragmatism. Under different circumstances they could have been responsible for as much misery as the Third Reich ever gave out, and they came very damn close in WWI and the years before it.

That is why I take offense to any idea that the Regular German Military (or rather, the established/“standing” parts of it, especially the officer corps) were in any way the “Good Guys”, believe that any idea dealing with the German Resistance has to deal with it tactfully in order to avoid twigging my moral and historical sensibilities (and I imagine I am not alone there), and in particularly believe Rommel and his ilk should have been hung until dead in a public place for being the willing handmaidens of tyranny and allowing into this world great crimes that could have been prevented. Great crimes that often pre-dated Hitler, and set the stage for his rise.

Rommel wasn’t a monster, but he certainly was not a hero, and you should be aware that what you are describing for the protagonist has little to no relation to him (again, Rommel was an aristocrat, an officer, a member of a military dynasty, *commander of Hitler’s military Bodyguard*, a doctrinaire monarchical absolutist, and a despiser of Weimar).

I’ll be happy to help however I can, but I want to make it absolutely clear that whitewashing- or its’ uglier twin, blackwashing- is an absolute no-go. The German resistance groups were never monolithic, and I mainly described the “Bad Actor” factions (and even plenty of those were legitimately disgusted morally). However, it would be a great offense- coming near the centinenial of the first Great War- to forget or paper over the origins of a lot of said Third Reich (and the problems with German political culture in the Second Reich), the less than noble ideals of many subsections of said resistance, and how the military (*especially* the military aristocracy like Rommel, Canaris, Stauffenberg, etc) served and duly enforced the bloody rule of not just one but two totalitarian governments over Europe, and fought to protect and expand them in two bloody and traumatic world wars and otherconflicts.


#20

go with it! but please dont make the german army the good guys who dont know what happen in ghettos and labour camps they know it perfectly