Jump to content
The Education Forum

Resistance Simulation


John Simkin
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have recently created a simulation on resistance. The idea is to create an emotional experience that would give students an insight into what it is like to suffer a foreign occupation. It could be used while studying the Second World War. Another possibility is to use it for teaching Citizenship. If you are interested in using the simulation and I will send you want you need to run the simulation.

Background Situation

The students are told the following story.

You are all living in the imaginary country called Dazeck. You have a long tradition of democratic government and a media free to comment on political issues. However, in recent years your country has been suffering serious economic problems and unemployment has now reached 10%. Inflation is also high and this has undermined the value of people’s savings and pensions.

The neighbouring country of Tuscanstan has been having similar problems. However, Tuscanstan is a much larger country than Dazeck. It also spends a great deal more than Dazeck on its armed forces.

Two years ago a military coup took place in Tuscanstan. Its new ruler, President Manstein, has abolished democratic elections, trade unions and all political parties. Manstein’s government has also taken control of the media. Manstein argued that these institutions had made it impossible to govern Tuscanstan successfully.

Manstein also blamed a racial group within Tuscanstan for the country’s problems. The Husaks make up only 5% of the population of Tuscanstan. However, Manstein argued that this group played a dominant role in business, media, trade unions and government and are therefore primarily responsible for these problems. After gaining power Manstein ordered the arrest of Husaks who he believed posed a threat to his new government. Other figures who were opposed to his government were also arrested and imprisoned.

Last week Dazeck was invaded by troops from Tuscanstan. After a brief struggle, the completely outnumbered Dazeck Army, was forced to surrender. Manstein has made a speech where he has promised to solve Dazeck’s economic problems by using the same methods he has employed in Tuscanstan.

Soon after the invasion a secret group called the National Liberation Front (NLF) has been formed. The group has already committed several acts of terrorism against the Tuscanstan soldiers and their Dazeck sympathizers. Manstein has announced that if captured, members of the NLF will be tortured and then executed.

The Simulation

After telling the students about the background to the situation they find themselves in, they are informed they will all be given a card. The contents of this card must remain a secret from all other members of the class.

Three members of the class will have cards that will tell them that they members of the NLF. They all have a task to perform that involves recruiting other members of the class to join the NLF. They will receive a point for every member they recruit.

Three members of the class will have cards that will tell them that they agree with the policies of President Manstein. They will receive points for every member of the NLF they can identify.

The rest of the class will have cards where they are given information on the situation in Dazeck. They are completely free to join the NLF or to become informers for the Manstein government.

The classroom is arranged so that members of the class can have one to one meetings. The students select another member of the class to have a meeting. In these meetings the students discuss what they should do about the situation they find themselves in. During this discussion the 3 members of the NLF or the 3 Manstein sympathizers can try to recruit members to their cause. These meetings last for 5 minutes. At the end of the meeting the student records in his book the number of the person who he has talked to and any decision that might have been reached during the discussion. This includes any points that they have obtained.

After the first round of talks the students are told to select a second person. This takes the same form as the first round. Those who have been recruited into the NLF or Manstein groups can also now gain points by making further recruits. The students can also pass information on what they have gained from the first round of talks.

After five rounds of talks the teacher brings an end to the simulation. The teacher tells the class that Dazeck is still under the control of Tuscanstan. Number 11 is called out to the front of the class. The rest of the class is told to stand up. Number 11 is identified as leader of the NLF. This student is asked to name any members of the class who he/she has discovered to be a collaborator. That person is told to sit down (they have been assassinated by the NLF).

The teacher calls out to the front the remaining collaborators (numbers 4, 7 and 10). These students now read out the names and numbers of the students who were members of the NLF. These students now sit down as they have been arrested and imprisoned. You then find out who has the largest score amongst those still left standing up.

Debriefing

The teacher discusses why people behaved in the way they did during the simulation. The situation that the students found themselves in is compared to the situation that people found themselves in when occupied by Germany and the Soviet Union in the 1930s and 1940s. It should also be pointed out the risks that collaborators took when a country was occupied. The importance of things like democracy and a free media could also be discussed.

Follow-up

The students could look at a series of case-studies of people who resisted. Here are a few suggestions of people worth studying. I have included the age when they began to resist. I have included enough for one per student. However, if you would rather the class studied the same people I would suggest Masha Bruskina, Kim Malthe-Bruun, Violette Szabo, Sophie Scholl, Andrée Borrel, Hélène Viannay and Noor Inayat Khan. I am still in contact with Hélène Viannay and although her English is not too good she might be willing to answer student questions.

Research Project

Masha Bruskina (aged 17)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWbruskina.htm

Kim Malthe-Bruun (aged 17)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWmalthe.htm

Gole Mire (aged 17)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWmire.htm

Denise Jacob (aged 17)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/FRjacob.htm

Sonya Olschanezky (aged 17)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SOEolschanesky.htm

Violette Szabo (aged 19)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SOEszabo.htm

Hannah Senesh (aged 19)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/GERsenesh.htm

Rosemary Wright (20)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/FRmaeght.htm

Mordecai Anielewicz (aged 20)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWanielewicz.htm

Sophie Scholl (aged 21)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/GERschollS.htm

Andrée Borrel (aged 21)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SOEborrel.htm

Justyna Dawidson (aged 22)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWdraenger.htm

Hans Scholl (aged 22)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/GERschollH.htm

Haika Grosman (aged 22)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWgrosman.htm

Madeleine Damerment (aged 23)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SOEdamerment.htm

Hélène Viannay (aged 23)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/FRviannay.htm

Noor Inayat Khan (aged 24)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SOEnoor.htm

Andrée de Jongh (24)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/FRjongh.htm

Yitzhak Zuckerman (aged 25)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWzuckerman.htm

Diana Rowden (aged 25)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SOErowden.htm

Claus von Stauffenberg (aged 25)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/GERstauffenberg.htm

Lilian Rolfe (aged 26)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SOErolfe.htm

Dietrich Bonhoffer (aged 27)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/GERbonhoffer.htm

Nancy Wake (aged 28)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SOEwake.htm

Marie-Madeleine Bridou (aged 31)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/FRfourcade.htm

Lise de Baissac (aged 35)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SOEbaissac.htm

Vera Leigh (aged 37)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SOEleigh.htm

Witold Pilecki (aged 38)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/GERpilecki.htm

Hohn Heartfield (aged 39)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/FWWheartfield.htm

Jean Moulin (aged 41)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWmoulin.htm

Martin Niemöller (aged 45)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/GERniemoller.htm

Julius Leber (aged 49)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/GERleber.htm

Link to comment
Share on other sites

John,

Excellent simulation. As far as I know, simulations are not very used in history teaching in the rest of Europe. At least, not in Spain and other countries I know. It is a fine Made in Britain product to export.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have begun to use simulations rather frequently in our history and citizenship classrooms.

I did one simulation to show students how difficult it can be to come to democratic decisions and why most democracies are not based on the idea of consensus but majority; I think I found the simulation on the website www.teachit.co.uk

ISLAND SURVIVAL

SITUATION:

It is about ten o’clock on a July morning. You have just crashed in a small aeroplane on an island; there are no other inhabitants.

The pilot and co-pilot are dead and the aeroplane is a burnt-out shell. The teacher is severely injured and unable to make any decisions. Six of you are injured.

The aeroplane had no radio and you think that you were about 100 mile off course when you crashed. Shortly before the crash you saw a large sweet-water lake on the island, which is three miles away from the point where the plane came down.

After the first day and night you know that daytime temperatures can reach 43 degree centigrade and night-time temperatures reach freezing. You are all dressed in light clothes.

The following is a list of items that came out of the crash in good order:

EQUIPMENT

90 assorted cans of food

Flashlight with four batteries

Jack knife

Large plastic poncho

Compass

Instrument to measure blood pressure

Loaded .45 pistol

One red & one white parachute

Bottle of 1000 salt tablets

Book: Edible Animals and Plants

One pair of sunglasses per person

One pocket mirror

One overcoat per person

Things you find in the area:

A hut which will hold five people

Abundant supply of wood

Sweet water which has to be carried three miles from the lake to your place

Assignments:

1. Individually write down what you consider to be the six most important items on the list to ensure survival and/or rescue.

2. Make six rules which would ensure that the maximum number of people survived, assuming that you will be rescued within a week.

3. Break into small groups. You must now achieve a consensus in selecting and ranking the importance of the six items and the rules for your group. Each member of your group must be in agreement of each choice of ranking. A simple majority vote is not permitted.

Dissenting group members must be convinced, or else they must convince the others.

No group may proceed from item/rule 1 to 2 or from 2 to 3 until all group members agree. Each group member should enter the group ranking beside his own.

4. Exchange and discuss your rules with another group.

Discussion questions after you have finished the survival game:

a) Did anyone feel forced to give in, even though he/she was positive he/she was right? If so, then why did he/she give in?

b)Did anyone take over as group leader?

c) Did the group do better than individuals? Why/why not?

d) Did anyone in the group go along with everything? Is this good or bad?

e) Would voting and decisions based on simple majority vote have been easier? Would it have been more useful?

Going beyond the game:

1. Why does any group need rules?

2. What is the best way to get the best rules/laws?

3. What is a “good” rule/law?

I think similar simulations can be constructed for different periods and historical events.

Edited by UlrikeSchuhFricke
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...