Nazi soldiers are cartoonish antagonists from a bygone era that the free world defeated seventy years ago. But an America complying with — and embracing — life under Nazism is hits a little too close to home.
This isn't just a reference how much the Nazi party and Hitler himself were inspired by the American eugenics movement. Or that Nazism took root in America thereafter, culminating in a 25,000-strong crowd at a Nazi rally in New York City's Madison Square Garden. Or that revivalist Nazis walk arm-in-arm with white supremacist groups today, in 2017. Instead the America of The New Colossus is an extreme (and hopefully absurd) example of what Americans might sacrifice to protect their positions -- namely, each other.
Like its predecessor, The New Colossus tucks world lore into letters and postcards strewn throughout the game. In one, the Nazis seem just as baffled that many Americans have about-faced to embrace the regime. Sometimes the Americans dress up their complicity as pragmatism, like the mother who teaches her young child German because he'll 'need it in the future.' But others, like the Klansmen, enjoy the Nazi overlordship because it sanctions their bigotry and feelings of supremacy. Some will sell out their country for safety, and others to secure a position of superiority, oblivious to the irony of living under an occupying force.
Today, there are Americans openly marching in streets under Nazi flags. The loose coalition of like-minded white supremacists groups might be plagued with infighting, but The New Colossus argues that you don't need powerful traitors to destroy the country. In the game, after America surrendered to the unstoppable Nazi onslaught, resistance was crippled once the already-privileged secured their comfort by consenting to Nazi rule. It doesn't take fifth columnists to destroy the American way -- just people who will sacrifice others to carve out some compromised luxury.
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