Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Monopoly on freedom?

The Informed Reader (B8) scoops today from the November-December Mental Floss...about Monopoly! Normally I can't stand playing that game, especially with money-hungry siblings, but this could be an exception. Something to think about for this and future wars? Emphasis mine.

The board game "Monopoly" served allied prisoners as a real-life tool to get out of jail during World War II, says Brian McMahon in Mental Floss, a magazine of farflung trivia.

In 1941, the British secret service asked the game's British licensee John Waddington Ltd. to add secret extras to some sets, which the Red Cross delivered to prisoners of war. These included a metal file, compass and silk maps of safe houses (silk, because it folds into small spaces and unfolds silently). Even better, real French, German and Italian currency was hidden under the game's fake money. Soldiers and pilots were told that if they were captured they should look out for the special editions, identified by a red dot in the game's "Free Parking" space.

Of the 35,000 prisoners of war who escaped German prison camps, "more than a few of those certainly owe their breakout to the classic board game," says Mr. McMahon.


Aurora said...

Nice background, Hannah. It's amazing that 35,000 were able to escape when you think about what those prisons were like. I guess Hogan's Heroes could have (loosely) been based on reality.

Hannah said...

Just thought of something: If the liberal people of America really care that much about the detainees in Gitmo, why don't they take the initiative and send THEM some special Monopoly games? Or is our security too good for those imitations? LOL