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Author Topic: Stutthof Camp - please read [ <rowan_> shevy, ignore stutthof, It got dropped]  (Read 6340 times)
rowanthepreacher
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« on: March 09, 2011, 12:28:44 AM »

Plans for Stutthof camp.

I realise that concentration camps, especially ones with such a history, bring up particular emotional responses, so I'd like to bring my thoughts for the use of the location to everybody's attention in case you'd like it to be scrapped or have suggestions for how to improve it.

I've come up with a location idea based around Stutthof camp. Essentially, the camp serves as the home for Polish survivors, using the grounds as farmland and using the old defences (which are fully intact) to defend themselves. The ill feeling that surrounds the place helps to keep others away and protects the inhabitants from day-to-day bad things.

Apart from using the grounds, the Stutthof inhabitants are producers of soap, using old equipment found on the grounds. This will be covered by in-game dialogue and may well have a part in gameplay (soap may be a rare and treasured late-game commodity). It will all be handled with great care, neither ignoring it's history, nor playing with it disrespectfully.

Thoughts are required, since this won't be scrapped or properly proposed until people have indicated their feelings on the idea.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2011, 08:26:57 PM by shevegen » Logged

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Beliar
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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2011, 12:34:58 AM »

I don't have any problems with it.
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rowanthepreacher
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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2011, 01:18:23 AM »

ok, I'm going LARPing this weekend. when I come back, i'll start writing this up as a proposal, since no-one's complained. If you want to complain in the meantime, I'll be having a look at this thread before I start.
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Q_x
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« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2011, 08:48:57 AM »

Soap is easy. Really easy. And not so vital if you know the plants that have some detergent in it...
Real-life soap goes as follows:
Materials: hollow bucket, 2 x pot, wood ash, old rag, spoon, fat/oil, water, heat source, fragrance
Take hollow bucket, put rag on bottom, fill it with ash, very slowly pour water through it and collect lye into one pot. Mix fats in second pot over heat source, add fragrance, mix in lye slowly, stirring. Wait. Collect glycerin from the top, cut soap underneath to shape and leave it to cure for a month or so.

Now, I think this is easy enough not only in post-apo setting, but literally in woodlands without any advanced tools at all. And, since common city dweller knows how to do this, you will have people there who know it even better, this is first thing.

Second, AFAIK, we will not have the game rolling on this side of Baltic, right?

Third is, Stutthof is like 40 km or less form Gdańsk, where would be a big hole in the ground after any major strike. Shipyards, heavy industry, lots of vital installations... So I doubt if living in Stutthof would make any difference after any radioactive fallout, than just going to Gdańsk itself (There are Sopot and Gdynia - three big cities - pretty close to each other there). Intact fence is not a factor at all, one needs a pair of pliers or fallen tree to ruin that feature and get in.

Fourth - soap-making installation there? Really? Do you have any *reliable* information on making any bigger quantity of soap in any that big nazi concentration camp?

And lastly, I don't see any advantages of going to concentration camp (apart from that you will make me go there and pick a map for you to recreate it) rather than to any village if you want to farm, you know... At least in my youth times fields and gardens used to be fenced as well, and this were big, national ones, with machine park nearby, with workshops, magazines, hay-processing facilities and other animal farming installations, all equipped. My grandpa was a blacksmith in such place from the 50-s until the end of the system.

My conclusions, summarized: you will make NPCs in game doing stuff that is not wise at all, you will make level designers and 3D artists waste a lot of time recreating the setting (at least roughly), and you will make the game banned in Germany, due to making soap in concentration camp.
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zenbitz
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2011, 12:19:33 AM »

well I gave my approval to work on this, actually I was involved a little.  But I agree we must tread carefully.  How to put a concentration camp and soap making (made from wholesome stuff, we are not sickos)  in a game in a tasteful way is tough.

Can you actually BAN a free game in Germany?  Are they going to block the IP address of the download site?  Put mvBarracuda in jail?

In anycase - if any native Germans think this will get "us" in trouble with the Politzsi, then it's probably not worth it.

40km is a LONG way from even a primary target like Gdansk.  Sure there would be (lower-case-f) fallout, but that's gone in a year or two.

You do make a good point here q_x, and that is we should only put it in the game if we can make some 'artistic' statement, other than just being needlessly shocking or macabre.

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rowanthepreacher
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« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2011, 04:52:40 PM »

Well, I guess i'll answer each point from my perspective, Q.

1: Zenbitz asked me the same thing about soap. Obviously it could be made, but given that starvation will be ever-present, I'd imagine that most people would rather eat all of the fat taken from animals. This limits it to the relatively wealthy south, but anywhere with modern (real modern) soap production equipment would simply beat competitors with efficiency, speed and quality of production. The alternatives to animal fats are all either gone due to cold or refining difficulty (beeswax, paraffin, most plant waxes) or too rare and unreliable (spermaceti), .

2: Well, Gdansk is on the map of the world. It's to the east of Gdansk, putting it firmly between Western Europe and Eastern Europe if you choose to travel by foot around Estonia and Latvia, rather than crossing the Baltic. I'm pretty sure stuff happens in mainland Europe, it's supposed to be the endgame area.

3:As Zen has said, it's ages away from anything else, so it's probably pretty safe. The fence in question is actually a huge brick wall (judging from the pictures), so it's better defended than anything else aboveground.

4: The soap lab was (depending on what you read) either a short walk outside of Gdansk, or one of the buildings of Stutthof. Stutthof is, as far as I can tell, the only camp where any sort of soap making went on. Soap was made in soap factories just like normal. I took this quote from http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/02-19-46.asp

---------------
...I, submit to the Tribunal, as Exhibit Number USSR-197 (Document Number USSR-197), the testimony of one of the direct participants in the production of soap from human fat. It is the testimony of Sigmund Mazur, who was a laboratory assistant at the Danzig Anatomic Institute...

..."Q: 'Tell us how the soap was made out of human fat at the Danzig Anatomic Institute.'

"A: 'In the courtyard of the Anatomic Institute a one-story stone building of three rooms was built during the summer of 1943. This building was erected for the- utilization of human bodies...
-----------------

If every camp had one of those, we'd know about it.

5: I was unaware of these national plots, so I'll concede that point.
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Q_x
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« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2011, 07:05:49 PM »

I see I have to straighten things out totally.

First is, I have lived in Gdańsk for two years, I still work for a company located there. Not a big factor, but it may be helpful in the future, if those locations will appear in game.

Guy that has made soap from human fat is Rudolf Spanner. Polish wiki says a little bit more about it, use automated translator, or find a native, or ask me if you want: http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_Spanner

He worked on bodies from many places, also from Stutthof. But he worked in Gdańsk (ger. Danzig), in the anatomy institute. This place is still a part of medical university of Gdańsk. Nowhere even close to Stutthof. 40 km is a day of travel, in good conditions. Not the case. This is also other side of this town than one would wish. Now it is close to the center, but anyway.

Also, this was not mass production of soap, but small-scale work, all made in single small laboratory, as one of many things that Spanner did. Mass production, production in camps - those are all legends, like nazi ufos and dozens of similar stories. Even German soldiers believed in those, they literally buried tones of soap when retreating. Ordinary soap that was, not from human fat, in really huge quantities.
http://www.photopodlasie.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=437

State of things in the 80-s
All the installations there were destroyed or some small things moved to museums just after the war, and the only thing left after laboratory AFAIK is a memorial table. Germans destroyed such stuff when retreating to get rid of uncomfortable evidence, later Russians destroyed stuff just because they could (often places took heavier beating from Russian than from German soldiers), finally communists made it go into museums. Bunkers were not the case, but pretty much anything else was.

Another factor to consider is that whole this region is below or very close to sea level. I'd bet it would be flooded totally after first spring after the end of the world and rebuilded by vistula river slightly every year. Swamps, swamps and big river going through it. Unpassable for most of the time, freezing only during really heavy winters...
some more reading:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%BBu%C5%82awy_Wi%C5%9Blane

Also, take a look on the fence:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/20/Wie%C5%BCa_stra%C5%BCnicza.jpg
This is, in general, how nazi built such facilities. hard to go through, but easy to shoot.

So, here we go again:
No soap making facilities near the camp. Really. They produced soap, just not there. In camp bodies were either transported out of the camp, or burned, either in holes in the ground just like so, or in crematory stoves.
Those buildings are really made on a budget. Every single house will make you a better shelter than those.
No brick wall going around it (maybe somewhere, just not whole perimeter).
If PC would go by foot anywhere from Estonia to Denmark - well, I'd rather look a good way around those swamps, not put a settlement in between big swamps and sea, in a place that would be wet as shit and still flooded with every bigger flood, in a place you still have to walk a day or two just to scavenge any precious stuff from ruins of big city and where water are contaminated with every piece of rubbish that just happened to corrode or leak anywhere up the river. Maybe if PC would look for a solitude, swamps would be good...
This is really not a part of any plausible route on Baltic shore. At least IMHO.
The only fat I can think of would be from seals, which will probably go back to the baltic shore (few seals are still visiting tis coast, even nowadays) or fish, farming pigs or sheeps, or from plants like from linum, hemp, sunflower maybe. Accessing big quantities of fat actually generates more waste than with small quantities (simply: nothing is wasted when you have one pig to slaughter in a year, you will use all of it). Again - making soap is really straightforward process, you may be all OK when starting with quantities like 0,5 kg of fat to make a batch for a month or two.

As for censorship, I still think feedback from our German part of the team would be appreciated. My bet would be shutting down the page by some "authorities" without even trying to understand this stuff, followed by some interrogation of our crew members.
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zenbitz
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« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2011, 07:26:15 PM »

I think Q_X's points here would make an even more interesting story/location.

I don't think "nazi soap myth" is well known, and we could use the players' (presumed incorrect) knowledge against him.
Not sure this is clearly but something along the line of:

"Soap factory in Gdansk" + "Nazi rumors"  + "Haunted concentration camp @ Stuthoff" -> hilarity ensues.  Maybe we could even have Rudolf Spanners' grandson trying to clear his name or something.
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Bryce
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« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2011, 07:58:03 PM »

Another factor to consider is that whole this region is below or very close to sea level. I'd bet it would be flooded totally after first spring after the end of the world and rebuilded by vistula river slightly every year. Swamps, swamps and big river going through it. Unpassable for most of the time, freezing only during really heavy winters...
some more reading:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%BBu%C5%82awy_Wi%C5%9Blane


I was under the impression that as glaciers moved South, sea levels dropped. Additionally, there is less moisture in the air so there would be less rain and flooding.
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rowanthepreacher
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« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2011, 10:33:58 PM »

There will be no moving of glaciers. They move, interestingly enough, at a glacial pace. Zen asked me for numbers, and even at the fastest recorded speed, they wouldn't go anywhere near far enough unless we wanted to set this game in 2110.
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Bryce
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« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2011, 05:25:43 PM »

What I mean by this is that as more water turns into ice, sea levels lower. Coastal flooding is a threat from global warming, not cooling.
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rowanthepreacher
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« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2011, 07:23:19 PM »

Oh, fair enough. Some of the research I've done online disputes that claim, but you're defending my idea, so i'll shut up. Cheesy

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rowanthepreacher
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« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2011, 01:05:07 AM »

Ok, if no-one has any other objections, I'm going to start writing this up, for review at a later date.
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shevegen
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« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2011, 08:27:33 PM »

I modified the thread title, I hope this is fine with rowan. He said it got dropped.

I am trying to clean up things slowly, both on the wiki (foremost), then on the forum.

Hope you guys don't mind too much. Smiley
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