SavRS Setting 02.03: Forced Relocation & loss of National Identity
One of the common themes about Axis powers is their perception of superior culture and nationalism, and in turn, their view of other nationals as inferior and in some cases, targets of slavery and ethnic cleansing. We all know the Holocaust targeted those of Jewish faith across Europe, as well as Slavs and gypsies. Millions were killed. Although I am not in favor of exploring that into too much detail for the RPG, it is a theme that should not be left out of the RPG. Ken explored it in some detail in the Original Edition of Reich Star, perhaps in more detail then I think a modern RPG needs to.
I don’t want to include this theme without having a reason or a purpose to it, however. Of course, I do not want to offend anyone in any way. First, my goal is to simplify the game itself. In some games of this nature, nationality is an important aspect of a character and it can complicate the character generation process. I really do not want to explore that, at least in the first edition of this Savage Worlds setting book. Additionally, I want to make a statement against this kind of mindset, by saying that the human race is more than a sum of its cultures and when we all come together mentally, socially and even genetically, we are stronger and more resilient.
At the same time, I feel that eventually concentration camps and ethnic cleansing will fall by the wayside in favor of other things. The population boom might bring them back in some fashion or another, but I don’t think the Axis powers could support a system large enough to keep up with the population boom that occurs in the Reich Star timeline. Assuming the population boom that is represented in the Original Edition of Reich Star, obviously these barbaric methods must have failed or ceased for some reason or another.
So below will be the explanation…
After their exposure by the resistance in the late 1960s, death and concentration camps became less desirable and politically expedient to use in both the Empire and Reich territories. In the case of the Reich, a perception of a “softer”, more gentler government had to be portrayed at the risk of revolution. The Reich was already spread thin on their part of the work and they did not trust the Italians enough to share it.
Various covert means were engaged in order to not only control population but also manipulate it in favor of what the Reich and the Empire saw as desirable stock. Meanwhile, the more powerful resistance groups in conjunction with certain dissident corporations infiltrated these efforts and countered many of their effects. The end result was a population boom of unparalleled proportions.
One of the primary focuses of the Reich and later adopted by the Empire (because of its effectiveness) was forced relocation of people groups in order to water down various cultures and ethnicity to make it easier to integrate them into Reich or Imperial society. They saw that if they could force the loss of culture and ethnicity in people groups, these people would latch onto whatever was dominant. It worked in many cases. Millions of people groups were uprooted and moved to completely different parts of the world, sometimes without warning. This not only caused disruption within the diversity cultures but also in efforts to organize resistance. These people groups were commonly used in forced or low-wage labor in developing various regions of the world for the Reich’s or Empire’s purposes.
Another motivation behind these relocation programs was the idea that “inferior genetics” lines would not survive long in environments dramatically different from the environments they evolved in. Traditionally equatorial peoples were moved to the north and vice-versa. Unfortunately, this part of their plan backfired. The relocated populations primarily flourished no matter where they were moved.
The end result was two-fold. Despite the Reich/Empire’s efforts, the people remained resilient and enduring. Over several generations, human ethnicity and national identity became a thing of the past. The divisions of humanity were defined by the powers that be. In the case of the Reich, the division is between Übers and Minders. In the Empire, it is between true people of Imperial descent and everyone else.