Jump to content
The Education Forum

Citizenship Simulation

John Simkin

Recommended Posts

I have recently created a simulation on resistance. It is something that could be used in citizenship classes. It is also something we could put on our Citizenship website. 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. 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.


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.


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)


Kim Malthe-Bruun (aged 17)


Gole Mire (aged 17)


Denise Jacob (aged 17)


Sonya Olschanezky (aged 17)


Violette Szabo (aged 19)


Hannah Senesh (aged 19)


Rosemary Wright (20)


Mordecai Anielewicz (aged 20)


Sophie Scholl (aged 21)


Andrée Borrel (aged 21)


Justyna Dawidson (aged 22)


Hans Scholl (aged 22)


Haika Grosman (aged 22)


Madeleine Damerment (aged 23)


Hélène Viannay (aged 23)


Noor Inayat Khan (aged 24)


Andrée de Jongh (24)


Yitzhak Zuckerman (aged 25)


Diana Rowden (aged 25)


Claus von Stauffenberg (aged 25)


Lilian Rolfe (aged 26)


Dietrich Bonhoffer (aged 27)


Nancy Wake (aged 28)


Marie-Madeleine Bridou (aged 31)


Lise de Baissac (aged 35)


Vera Leigh (aged 37)


Witold Pilecki (aged 38)


Hohn Heartfield (aged 39)


Jean Moulin (aged 41)


Martin Niemöller (aged 45)


Julius Leber (aged 49)


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
  • Create New...