Tag Archives: Holocaust

Documents from Dresden and Auschwitz (USEAAR, #24)

This post is part of an after-action report of Unconditional Surrender! (Salvatore Vasta, GMT Games) and therefore entirely fictitious.

Diary entry of Victor Klemperer

Dresden, September 25, 1942

Shells do not discriminate. They fall on Christian and Jewish heads alike, they tear Aryan and non-Aryan limbs off just the same. Fortunately, I have not heard one for two days now. The battle of Dresden – if one can call it such, given how quickly the few Wehrmacht men with assistance of the local SS and Hitler Youth were overwhelmed by our Soviet liberators – is over. To Eva and me, it was deliverance. Continue reading

Minutes of the Wannsee Conference on the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” (USEAAR, #19)


This post is part of a mostly fictitious after-action report of Unconditional Surrender! (Salvatore Vasta, GMT Games) . The document in question, however, is authentic. Government and SS officials met on January 20, 1942 to coordinate the implementation of the genocide of the Jewish people of Europe. The translation from the German original is mine.

Classified Reich Matter!

Minutes of the Meeting

I. Attendees of the meeting held in Berlin, Am Großen Wannsee no. 56/58 on January 20, 1942, on the final solution to the Jewish question: Continue reading

Note of Susanna Pouvreau (USEAAR, #10)

This post is part of an after-action report of Unconditional Surrender! (Salvatore Vasta, GMT Games) and therefore entirely fictitious.
Note from Susanna Pouvreau to her neighbor Marianne Dutour, Châtillon-en-Diois, October 16, 1940.

in all brevity: I am gone and will not come back to Châtillon anytime soon. I know what they are doing to our kind in Germany and do not doubt that they will want to do the same to us here. I have taken what I need and know where to go. When Pierre comes back, let him know I left on my own terms. When liberty returns, so will I. Please burn this note.
All my love,

Frankreich, französische Kriegsgefangene

French prisoners of war. Is Pierre among them? The picture is based on image 101I-055-1592 of the German Federal Archives, CC-BY-SA.

You can see the current state of affairs in the game in the Twitter thread:


Diary entry of Josephine Lefèvre (USEAAR, #7.2)

This post is part of an after-action report of Unconditional Surrender! (Salvatore Vasta, GMT Games) and therefore entirely fictitious.

Brussels, June 07, 1940

We had a bit more than two weeks. I knew the Nazis would come back, and back with a vengeance they are. The parades have been a more emphatic show of force than ever, the boots are clicked on the ground more forceful than ever, and the delivery of punishment from slaps to executions is faster than ever. We shall not see peace nor freedom as long as the swastika flies over the Grand-Place. Continue reading

World War II (Century of German History, #6)

I’m doing a series on German history in the 20th century on my blog this year. In intervals of 10 years, I pick a crucial event and explore it – with the help of precisely one board game. You can find the previous posts here:

Today, we go back to September 1, 1939 and the German attack on Poland – the beginning of World War II. The game that accompanies us is Unconditional Surrender! (Salvatore Vasta, GMT Games). Now the events of World War II from the first shots to the final surrender of the Axis powers are well known (and covered by myriads of books, articles, and, yes, board games). Therefore, I’ll skip the narration of who conquered what when and instead focus on three crucial perspectives on the war and the board game: How was this war different from other great power wars before? How does the game balance between freedom of action of the players and recreating a historical outcome? And why does Unconditional Surrender capture an essential aspect of the war?
Finally, this post will also serve as the starting point of a new project: I’ll do a detailed Unconditional Surrender after action report. Follow my Twitter account for live updates (and vote on strategic decisions) and check out the larger narrative on the blog! Continue reading