Why did Hitler adopt the swastika?
Confrontation with fascism Computer game with swastika
Karin is actually looking forward to the first day at school. She wants to be able to play and learn with the other children. But the other children are going to hell for Karin. They tease them, beat them - and worse. Because Karin is a so-called "Lebensborn child". Lebensborn, that was an SS association that had the goal of breeding an Aryan elite. In the areas occupied by Germany, too, children who corresponded to the racial ideas of the Nazis were stolen from their families. At some point the war was over, but the "Lebensborn children" were still there - and had a hard time in their homeland, the hatred of the Nazis was now being let out on them.
The player as a democrat
Karin is the protagonist of a computer game called "My Child Lebensborn". Here you slip into the role of a democratically minded person who declares himself ready to adopt a Lebensborn child in Norway after the war. In Norway, the story of the Lebensborn children was suppressed for a long time, so the game designer Catharina Bøhler researched intensively and spoke to Lebensborn children who were still alive in order to reproduce the topic in their game as authentically as possible. At first there was criticism of the idea of trying to pack this serious topic into a computer game, but then the reactions were almost entirely positive:
"The first reviewer wrote that he cried and that it was an important game. There was only one negative review and many users objected to it in the comments. Of course, a few people misunderstood the game and accused us of We would make fun of the children or even the pain people had to endure in the war. But every time these people played the game or we talked to them, they understood our intention. To be honest, we thought that there would be a lot more headwind. "
Serious preoccupation with the Nazi era
"My Child Lebensborn" is superficially a kind of manager or Tamagotsch game, in which you have to take care of little Karin and learn a lot about the racial madness of the Nazis. It is unusual for a computer game to deal with the Nazi dictatorship in this way. But game designers are slowly starting to want to deal seriously with this time. One of them is Jörg Friedrich from the small Berlin studio "Paintbucket Games". He is currently working on "Through the Darkest of Times". The idea came to him last year:
"Trump had become president, it was debated that the Front National could win the presidential elections, Poland, Hungary ... and we thought that something would have to be done as a video game. And we looked at what computer games actually do Zeitgeist, both positive and negative. We then found that when it comes to these kinds of issues, fascism, discrimination, authoritarian regimes, all that, we found it rather thin and thought maybe we could change that. "
First German game with swastikas
"Trough the Darkest of Times" is supposed to be a strategy game about the civil resistance in the Third Reich. The graphics are black and white and are based on artists such as Käthe Kollwitz, Otto Dix or John Heartfield, artists whose art was viewed by the Nazis as degenerate. The declared goal of the makers: Your game should look like it was banned back then. "Trough the Darkest of Times" will also be the first German game that is officially allowed to contain swastikas. A decision that Jörg Friedrich welcomes, because he thinks: A game that turns against National Socialist ideology must also be allowed to show National Socialism in all of its inhumane facets and symbols.
"At first we naively thought that if we don't show swastikas, then it'll be fine. Then we learned that no figure is allowed to make the Hitler salute or say anything in that direction. And that's a relief!"
"Through the Darkest of Times" should appear later this year. And maybe it will inspire other game designers to grapple with the darkest part of German history.
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