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Super Mech Pilot
03-03-2013, 10:16 AM
Okay so I started a thread about this in the Science Fiction catagory but after talking on that one for a while I found out about this section and I feel it fits here more appropriately. Im doing a science fictional story involving nazis as the main Antagonists because I love stories about world war 2 and I love science fiction so I'm combining them. I've read alot about WW2 and the Holocaust and I've read stories from the Jewish perspective, I've read about Russia alot, and I even watched a movie from the German perspective. My question is how do Africans, African Americans, and Spanish people feel about stories involving Nazis? I want to know how to best write in black characters into my story but I need to know more about your perspectives on the concept.

Rachel Udin
03-03-2013, 10:48 AM
You might also want to look at Romani and gays who were also targeted by the Nazis. (Also labeled and segregated too.)

And though not the Nazis the Japanese, Koreans and Chinese who were singled out by the US government should also get some weight too... (People point to Nazis being an Uber evil power, but then forget that the US isn't morally free of WWII atrocities either. Especially with buying pretty much war crime experiments by giving pardons to war criminals. *twitch*)

From my perspective, though, Hitler was an ironic figure. Short, brown hair, brown eyes, and related to Jews. A failed art student, made allies with Japanese, claimed to be vegetarian for the wrong reasons, but often ate meat anyway, and somehow advocated for a Christian White (Blue-eyed, blond) Sedentary culture who wasn't even properly German.

But then being Korean and Jewish I kinda have a different perspective...

slhuang
03-03-2013, 10:58 AM
Just a quick note -- your thread in SFF says you're using Nazis as antagonists; in this thread you say protagonists. It's not impossible to write a good story with Nazis as your (anti-)heroes, but it would come along with a whole other set of challenges and would have to be handled *very* carefully. Nazis as villains is easier -- a lot of media even makes them cartoonish (see Indiana Jones), and while not a deep portrayal or anything, to my knowledge nobody's offended by it (I don't think?).

So . . . are the Nazis your protagonists, or your antagonists? It may affect how people address your question.

Super Mech Pilot
03-03-2013, 06:46 PM
Just a quick note -- your thread in SFF says you're using Nazis as antagonists; in this thread you say protagonists. It's not impossible to write a good story with Nazis as your (anti-)heroes, but it would come along with a whole other set of challenges and would have to be handled *very* carefully. Nazis as villains is easier -- a lot of media even makes them cartoonish (see Indiana Jones), and while not a deep portrayal or anything, to my knowledge nobody's offended by it (I don't think?).

So . . . are the Nazis your protagonists, or your antagonists? It may affect how people address your question.

I am so sorry I can't believe I made a stupid mistake like that. I meant antagonist theyre the enemies of the main characters. Crimes towards colored people and others aren't the main focus of the story but it is in there so I want to get some perspective before I write. I know for a fact that Jews and Russians have slightly different views on it because I've studied them alot. The Russians talk alot about deffending the mother land from the Germans who betrayed them, the Jews were fighting extinction and survival is something you hear alot in their accounts.

Super Mech Pilot
03-03-2013, 06:52 PM
You might also want to look at Romani and gays who were also targeted by the Nazis. (Also labeled and segregated too.)

And though not the Nazis the Japanese, Koreans and Chinese who were singled out by the US government should also get some weight too... (People point to Nazis being an Uber evil power, but then forget that the US isn't morally free of WWII atrocities either. Especially with buying pretty much war crime experiments by giving pardons to war criminals. *twitch*)

From my perspective, though, Hitler was an ironic figure. Short, brown hair, brown eyes, and related to Jews. A failed art student, made allies with Japanese, claimed to be vegetarian for the wrong reasons, but often ate meat anyway, and somehow advocated for a Christian White (Blue-eyed, blond) Sedentary culture who wasn't even properly German.

But then being Korean and Jewish I kinda have a different perspective...
I've wondered alot about those things too, I really can't understand him trying to ally with the Japanese but he attacked the Russians who were white.

Yeah I think you'll find I know alot more about that than others Jews were not the only Holocaust victims Gypsies, homosexuals, and crippled people were killed too. I also hate when a teacher only focuses on American involvement in WW2. Russians were only just barely mentioned, most students know nothing about the Romanians who were also responsible for the deaths of some Jews. So yeah I like the stuff nobody is talking about and I obtained a lot more of my information about WW2 outside of school because the teachers weren't doing a good enough job in my opinion, they only say what they're paid to.

Super Mech Pilot
03-03-2013, 10:21 PM
Alot of the other thread became about how to write about PoC in general but here I want to talk about how to write about them in a story that uses Nazis. The best pieces of advice I got so far were to avoid tokenism which I didn't even know what that meant but I looked it up and while that wasn't what I was doing it might have seemed that way so I deciced to do my cast a little different. Another thing we talked about was writing the characters personality and other characteristics before choosing the characters skin color, which wasn't a problem for me since I already had some characters like that, that didn't have a skin color chosen yet (I like doing character outlines).

Anyway that conversation didn't exactly stay on topic (wich was 100% my fault) but now I want to know what exactly PoC think when reading stories about Nazis and that might also include some of your personal experience with them (some people don't seem to realize Nazis still exist) and that might help me when putting them into my science fiction story. Also just something I'm wondering there are alot more views on this thread than posts does that mean people are offended just by the thread title? or are you just not sure how to respond? I'm just wondering here.

LJ Hall
03-04-2013, 02:41 AM
You might start by researching how PoCs responded back then. Look up some of the unsung heroes from non-European countries who didn't get fancy movies made about them. Here's one to start you off (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiune_Sugihara).

Otherwise I'm not entirely sure what you're asking. I'm in my early thirties, so my history's not exactly packed with personal experiences involving Nazis. PoC are human beings like any other, their attitude towards Nazi history would reflect the region and family they grew up in, how history is taught in their part of the world, and a lot of other individual factors.

I can't say 'as an Arab-American I feel this way or that way' because my feelings involving a huge tragedy in world history have nothing to do with growing up in an Arabic family. I suppose in parts of the world where there are ongoing conflicts with Israel they might teach WWII history differently, but I grew up in Alabama. The woman in my avatar is a Jewish-Israeli singer, actually. One of my favorites. She performed a song one year for Eurovision with an Arab-Israeli singer, and even that one song stirred a thousand different opinions among Arabs and Israelis.

There's simply not one opinion that will encompass any minority group, about any subject.

Just write them as people with varying opinions, the way you'd write the white characters. Don't forget that PoC were around back then and actively involved in the war (check out that link up above), even if they've been left out of most history books.

And don't worry about your view:post ratio. This is a forum. Lurkers are a constant.

Super Mech Pilot
03-04-2013, 04:04 AM
There's simply not one opinion that will encompass any minority group, about any subject.
I appologise I just wanted to get some ideas from acctual PoC and did not mean to insinuate that all people of an ethnic group did share the same opinion.



Just write them as people with varying opinions, the way you'd write the white characters. Don't forget that PoC were around back then and actively involved in the war (check out that link up above), even if they've been left out of most history books.

And don't worry about your view:post ratio. This is a forum. Lurkers are a constant.
yeah I would like to know more about the other minority groups involved in the second world war. I personaly feel people don't even know enough about the Euopean countries. American movies and books like to avoid talking about the Russians as much as possible and I figure thats because of the Cold War and Red Scare. I got so mad when we were at this museum and were looking at different military uniforms and I believe the exibit had something to do with African Americans in the military, anyway this lady at the exibit told the class that by WW2 the American military was completely desegregated. And if I didn't think I would have gotten in trouble I probably would have said something I wish now I had now.

Anyway thanks for your comments I think thats the main response I'm getting and It seems easy enough, like I said I've got a few character ideas already that weren't given skin colors.

BunnyMaz
03-04-2013, 05:46 AM
This won't specifically help you research for reactions and the history of POC regarding WWII, but since you're going to be doing research anyway, can I recommend the British documentary series The World at War from the 70s? It shows a lot of stuff that isn't often covered in school texts, like the submarine convoys to Russia.

Super Mech Pilot
03-04-2013, 06:08 PM
This won't specifically help you research for reactions and the history of POC regarding WWII, but since you're going to be doing research anyway, can I recommend the British documentary series The World at War from the 70s? It shows a lot of stuff that isn't often covered in school texts, like the submarine convoys to Russia.

Yeah, thanks that does sound like something that would interest me. I've watched movies, documentaries, read books, magazines, and internet articles and I still find new things I didn't know.

Rachel Udin
03-04-2013, 07:31 PM
I'll run down PoC involvement I do know.

There still was a fair amount of racism in the US in WWII. Black men were allowed to fight, particularly in the Battle of the Bulge side by side by white soldiers (which was the first time) which was the first time that was allowed to happen. (There was segregation before that point). Some historians argue that this fueled some of the civil rights movements later on...

The US also had Tuskegee airmen and though there is a movie about it, some say it's inaccurate, so it's worth going back to the source. They also suffered quite a lot of racism from what I know.

And despite Japanese being considered enemies, both British and US citizens of that descent fought in WWII. Imagine it this way: You're considered an enemy of the State and you're treated badly by the people around you, yet you're still fighting for your country. I know there is at least one autobiography about it. Japanese-British Soldiers were also treated poorly, which included bullying... (Most of the usual stuff add on "enemy" on top and there you go.)

George Takei also has narrated what it was like in the concentration camps (I rather call it that and then the Jewish/other groups "Death Camps"--I like the blunter language.) He made a musical about it which I wanted to see, but it's in NYC... and I'm not.

I read that Nazis allied with Japan out of "We don't like each other, but you've got your domain, we've got ours." The Japanese military was particularly brutal in WWII and the *majority* of the population now feels shame about it. (Not all... mind you, but there is variation in every population.) There is some stomach-turning stuff. For Japanese, what WWI was to us, WWII was to them. (Huge cultural shift in thought and change... including how to view War.) If you want to explore that aspect, what I remember are these key events:

Comfort Women (so horrible that I think people would protest getting it taught properly in high schools), Rape of Nanking (which is just a despicable look at HUMANITY in general... when I was studying it in class, we watched a documentary. Several people had to leave the room. I'll slap a really huge warning on this one. It's not pretty.), the Japanese experiments on US soldiers and enemy combatants (Which the US is not free of guilt over... since the result of those experiments were bought by the US), the starvation of Japanese soldiers in WWII (There is a Japanese movie about pretty much how the soldiers had to resort to cannibalism--fiction, but also representative of the way Japanese felt about the war--BTW, in Japanese available with English sub), Of course the atomic bombs (regardless of if it was "necessary" from a strategic standpoint or not, it's still horrible...), and General MacArthur for the recovery program. (I kind of view him as a narcissist... but... I may be a little biased.) Modern Japan History class for the win.

That should give you a bunch of key terms to look up. I have heard stories within the community that *some* Chinese and Koreans got out of the Concentration Camps by proving they were not Japanese, but that's pretty horrible anyway. (Mostly in Washington??? I'm foggy about that.) I know most of California did not get out of that kind of districting. Literally, the entirety of Little Tokyo in LA was ordered to evacuate.

They did later sue, but never got back the full value of their land, property, or the money lost by that move.

If you wanted to look at the racism, ethnocentrism, there is plenty of guilt to go around in WWII.

Super Mech Pilot
03-04-2013, 09:58 PM
"There still was a fair amount of racism in the US in WWII. Black men were allowed to fight, particularly in the Battle of the Bulge side by side by white soldiers (which was the first time) which was the first time that was allowed to happen. (There was segregation before that point). Some historians argue that this fueled some of the civil rights movements later on..."

Okay I deffinately did not know that one and I've even read about the Battle of the Bulge. Also I heard about the movie about the Tuskegee airmen but I never actually watched it, your probably right though it would be better to just look up the actual information on that one.

Does anyone know about the Africa campaign? Or any books about it? Most of my knowledge on that one is of the Desert Rats and they were British. I never heard what happened to the Africans during all of that.

Super Mech Pilot
03-04-2013, 10:20 PM
Don't know if this interests anyone or not since I'm the one asking all the questions but I found an article about African (not African American) soldiers during WWII and how they were forgotten from history. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8344170.stm This is only a start now I'm really interested I've always wanted to know more about the soldiers who were forgotten like that there were alot of people that don't even get mentioned from alot of different countries.

regdog
03-04-2013, 11:13 PM
Interesting link

BunnyMaz
03-04-2013, 11:43 PM
I know over here in the UK we basically sucked like you would not believe when it came to race. We had rules that banned black people from serving in the armed forces, and while those were repealed during the war Churchill issues a statement encouraging his officers to prevent black people enlisting by "administrative means". Apparently it was considered unseemly for black military officers to be given weapons training, because they would be killing white people. Of course, we did have black soldiers despite that, but they were the exception rather than the rule. Look up Sergeant Walter Tull (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Tull) for an example of a WWI officer who served and commanded men in spite of those rules.

We did have other POC serving in our forces, though. We remain immensely proud of our Gurkhas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gurkha), who continue to serve in British as well as Indian forces, today.

Kim Fierce
03-05-2013, 01:34 AM
When I was in high school I was friends with a Japanese exchange student . . . even to this day the effects of the nuclear bombing cause birth defects and problems for those who live in the area. It was a sensitive subject for us to talk about, especially when she learned both my grandfathers were in the war, and one serving in Japan. She asked what he did there, and I told her the story which my family always told me (don't know if it's all true) that he was on a ship to Japan and by the time he got there the war was over and he was mainly focused on cleaning up or something vague.

Super Mech Pilot
03-05-2013, 03:24 AM
Another thing I would like to ask which is slightly off topic, I've been thinking on how to address who exactly the Nazis in my story should be. Current events would suggest that future nazis could come from America, the originals were German. Either choice will cause either side to be offended. The idea I'm playing with is an international group who shares the nazi belief system. Does anyone else have any thoughts on this?

Kim Fierce
03-05-2013, 03:29 AM
There are people today who like to draw swastikas on crap and shave their heads. . . you could have a group from America like that . . . in the prison system is the most famous place to find the white power losers today.

Super Mech Pilot
03-05-2013, 03:47 AM
Well one idea I had was that at one point in the history of my story Hitlers dream was achieved whites rule the world with everyone else as their servants only not everyone agreed to this some of the white people in the story were conquered like everyone else. During colonization efforts of another planet the colonist take the opportunity to stage a rebellion lines are drawn and they hold out, other colonies and slave/death camps get encouragement from this and other rebelions are formed and the successful ones become independant worlds of their own. The rest of the story would be about how the Nazis try to take back the colonies by the time the story starts the colonists all have their own independent governments and have called their worlds home for a long time.


Okay like I said this is a rough idea I need to know what some concerns might be for POC when it comes to a plot like this.

Rachel Udin
03-05-2013, 04:23 AM
WWI fueled WWII in a large effect. I think for your premise to work, you need to understand some of the causes of WWII and why the general hate of anyone who was not White Straight able-bodied Male Christians would take effect so well.

The definite moral gray of WWII, makes it more interesting to me than the cartoonish black and white look at it.

(Ignore the psychological thing of the third wave. Anecdotally interesting, but it has been debunked.)

Swastikas, BTW, aren't in all cases anti- Jewish. The Nazis according to Hindus and Buddhists marred the symbol by rotating it. when the bars are level rather than at an angle it means roughly the "Universe" or "Laws of the universe." (Kind of a way to talk about the beauty. Like Om.) But at the angle the Nazis have, ironically it means the universe in disbalance... so that means that angle matters. Just a heads up on it.

And there are still Neo Nazis. And KKK in the US. You should also look at the group in the US called the Creatives... (Religious tolerance.org) which, personally is less than creative...

I'm unclear if you're divorcing it from actual history or using the future as a way to retell the story of WWII... because from what you have is basically the story or slavery for the world over. (We hate your kind, but we love your labor.)

Super Mech Pilot
03-05-2013, 08:44 AM
I don't know, I want to have nazis and space colonists fighting each other and the Earth in a post apocolyptic mess. Everything else ,what caused it, what events took place to get to this point I don't know yet.

I'm really begining to wonder how to make this storyline work without racism ending up the only focal point and I'm really stumped. I've got to do some more research and alot more thinking.

BunnyMaz
03-05-2013, 12:09 PM
Remember that with the original WWII Nazis, that racism was fueled by propaganda and by real, economic problems. Following WWI, Germany had such strict sanctions imposed on them that their economy collapsed utterly. Stories mention children using stacked wedges of paper currency as building blocks.

Look at the media, now. Look at the political discourse. Here in the UK, the government and the media talk about immigrants, about benefits scroungers and disabled people and paint the poor of the country as irresponsible spenders, as a drain on the country coffers that "maxed out the country credit card". It's so tempting and easy to convince yourself that a bad economic situation is someone else's fault, especially if that someone is an Other, someone you can treat as less than human in your own mind because they're Not Like You.

In Germany, Hitler used rhetoric and propaganda to spread the myth that Jewish people were responsible, that it was their fault. He spoke of disabled people being a drain on the country, being unproductive. He spoke of a return to "traditional values", where Good German Women were breeding stock and supplicant wives for Good German Men.

If you want to create Nazis without making racism the focal point, you don't have to make them literal followers of whatever Nazism has transformed into in your sci-fi world. You can make them by giving them the same reasoning, the same motivations and the same dogmatic, propaganda-fueld rabble-rousing militarisation of everyday life that was so much a part of the original Nazis.

You know those iconic Nazi uniforms? That wasn't a happy accident. Hitler wanted his soldiers to look striking. He wanted a stylish army. The uniform was as much a tool of propaganda as anything he wrote. Use that manipulation of people, too.

Rachel Udin
03-05-2013, 08:29 PM
I'll give you a key hinted and said, but I'll say it bluntly:

The majority of all prejudice has to do with a competition for economic goods. (Be it money, food, whatever).

Racism, sexism, homophobia and anything else you can think of, you can pretty much tie to economic factors. Most of them are justifications by the ruling elite that they get to stay in the position they are in.

People oddly feel better about themselves when they have a scape goat (See projection in psychology)

This is a story told again and again in human history, which predates the Nazis. (Japanese against Koreans during the occupation... Turkey against the Armenians... etc. Even the classic "witch" and "Werewolf" motif. <-- which is why I kinda shy against reading those stories...) So if you want to not make it about prejudice at all, I think you'll gut the core message we take away from the Nazi's--See what extreme hate and poverty can do to a nation?

You can still make up a prejudice and still get the same message across.

Super Mech Pilot
03-06-2013, 12:58 AM
I'll give you a key hinted and said, but I'll say it bluntly:

The majority of all prejudice has to do with a competition for economic goods. (Be it money, food, whatever).

Racism, sexism, homophobia and anything else you can think of, you can pretty much tie to economic factors. Most of them are justifications by the ruling elite that they get to stay in the position they are in.

People oddly feel better about themselves when they have a scape goat (See projection in psychology)

This is a story told again and again in human history, which predates the Nazis. (Japanese against Koreans during the occupation... Turkey against the Armenians... etc. Even the classic "witch" and "Werewolf" motif. <-- which is why I kinda shy against reading those stories...) So if you want to not make it about prejudice at all, I think you'll gut the core message we take away from the Nazi's--See what extreme hate and poverty can do to a nation?

You can still make up a prejudice and still get the same message across.
I already understand why the war started, you didn't have to keep hinting because I already knew that. It's the same as whats happening in America today people are blaming Mexicans for stealing their jobs wether they are illegal or not. The Jews were directly blamed for Germanys economic problems thats not my problem I get that. The thing is I'm having problems drawing up factions in the story and I don't want all white people to be assumed Nazis. Since economics are a factor I have another idea developing.

I think the best thing here is for me to bounce a few ideas around before continuing this conversation. Thanks everyone for talking with me.