Wraith remains a "Wish I Could Play/Run It More Often" game system, but given the darkness and morbidity of it, there will always be a huge difficulty in finding players who would appreciate it. More so the book called Charnel Houses of Europe: The Shoah, which provides a lot of heavy yet factual information as well as game-related stats for those who want to run a game based on the events of the Holocaust. Clearly this book was controversial for most, given its subject matter, and many even felt such a serious and painful event in history should never be material for a game session. But for me, games are not just moments to have fun. They are also opportunities for discussion, exploration and remembrance. As the book's dedication reads: "This book is dedicated to the survivors of the Holocaust, who have spent 50 years telling their stories. What you hold in your hands is a tribute to their perseverance, and in some small way an attempt to carry on their legacy for the sake of the generations who will never know them. Todah raba."
One character that stood out for me in this book was Nikolai Dimitrius. Nikolai was one of the soldiers who hoped to find release from the horror of truth of Babi Yar by committing suicide. Clearly, things would not go that easily for him. But he was a promising character who showed even among the perpetrators, there existed the chance that some humanity resided within them. He was a brief beacon of hope in a dark and terrible world. But even then, he was less a beacon of hope and more a portrait of cowardice. A display of caring for oneself more than of rising to try to make a difference. He saved one, but killed himself rather than try to save more. It was a great portrayal of opposing polarities for me that I wanted to explore.