- 1 Summary
- 2 Chapters
- 2.1 Forward: Mi Yagid Labanim
- 2.2 Ghost Story: The Rusalka
- 2.3 Introduction
- 2.4 The Telling of the Agonies: A Chronicle of the Millions
- 2.5 An Antechamber of the Damned: The Theresienstadt Ghetto
- 2.6 Behind the Wall: The Ghetto at Warszawa
- 2.7 A Struggle for the Forsaken: Babi Yar
- 2.8 Behind the Wire: Oswiecim (Auschwitz-Birkenau)
- 3 Background Information
- 4 Memorable Quotes
- 5 Terminology
From the White Wolf catalog:
- Because the Story Must Be Told
- The numbers are staggering. The atrocities committed are unthinkable. The consequences are unimaginable. And the wraiths of those who perished in the Holocaust have sworn never to let it happen again.
- Never Again
- Charnel Houses of Europe: The Shoah is a serious look at the Holocaust and its legacy in the world of Wraith: The Oblivion. Inside is information on the Shadowlands during and after the Holocaust, as well as detailed setting material on Auschwitz, Babi Yar, Theresienstadt, and the Warsaw Ghetto.
Forward: Mi Yagid Labanim
Written by journalist Janet Berliner, about her family's struggles with their identity, and how the Shoah must never be forgotten.
Ghost Story: The Rusalka
A dybbuk murders a passing woman who wanders onto his territory.
This details the purpose of the book and provides several film and book resources for those wishing to know more about the subject matter.
The Telling of the Agonies: A Chronicle of the Millions
A summary of the events from Hitler's appointment in 1933 to the liberation of the camps and prosecution of those who ran them. In between are countless atrocities and much death. The section follows up with how the Deathlords were thrown by the sudden arrival of millions of angry wraiths after Charon disappeared, and the agreement worked out between the dybbuks and the Hierarchy.
An Antechamber of the Damned: The Theresienstadt Ghetto
Started in 1941, Theresienstadt was a collection point and holding facility for Polish Jews before they were shipped off to concentration camps. At one point, the Nazis used it as propaganda to show the International Red Cross how "well" they were treating the Jewish people. The truth eventually came to light, but not in time for the 87,000 shipped off to death camps from there, or the 33,000 who died within the ghetto walls.
An established Circle rules over the Shadowlands version, hoping to help the wraiths within peacefully Transcend.
Behind the Wall: The Ghetto at Warszawa
The Warsaw Ghetto was where the Jewish population of Warsaw (over 1/10 of the city's population) were walled in to separate them from the rest of the city. All 500,000 Jews were forced by the invading Germans to live in an area only 100 blocks in area and with 27,000 apartments. Eventually, they began to ship them off to "labor" camps, but several ghetto residents found out what was really going on and formed a resistance movement. For 27 days, they managed to hold off the Nazi forces, but eventually were ground down. Survivors were shipped off, and the ghetto was razed.
Even in death, the dybbuks of Warsaw remain behind the wall, in a place that reflects the despair and hope of the ghetto's living counterpart.
A Struggle for the Forsaken: Babi Yar
When the Ukraine fell to Germany, the Nazis began rounding up the Jewish people of the country and executing them. Babi Yar is the first of many sites where mass murders took place; 33,000 Jews were shot and buried in a mass grave in around 36 hours.
The dybbuks of Babi Yar guard what is left of the settlement from the nearby nihil. It serves as a gathering place for other Russian Jews who were executed in a similar fashion.
Behind the Wire: Oswiecim (Auschwitz-Birkenau)
The most notorious of the Nazi death camps, Auschwitz is where over 1 million men, women, and children from a number of "undesirable" backgrounds were gassed and cremated in a space of 5 years. Jews, criminals, communists, gypsies, gays, and others were systematically sorted and killed, while what little resources they had were turned over to their murderers.
So much agonizing death in so little a space has created one of the most turbulent and dark places in the Shadowlands, including the Sheol nihil that descends straight to Oblivion. Nonetheless, wraiths still dwell in Auschwitz, but in an atmosphere that is almost as full of anguish as the one they left.
Charnel Houses was released under the Black Dog line due to the controversial subject matter and extremely graphic and frank way in which it is handled. The book is thoroughly researched, and deals mostly in fact. When anything supernatural is discussed, it is done so in an aside or in a specially marked section away from the factual material.
Janet Berliner, who wrote the book's introduction, is an author and journalist from South Africa whose family were German Jews who fled Nazi Germany in 1936. She is a friend of Richard Dansky. For more information on her, please check her website.
According to notes at the beginning, the information in Charnel Houses supersedes anything in Berlin by Night.
Charnel Houses was released on April 15, which was the date of Yom HaShoah that year.
"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."
- Terezin (Theresienstadt) Memorial
- Photos from the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
- Survivors of Babi Yar
- Auschwitz Memorial and Museum
Wraith: The Oblivion books