World premiere of “Across the Iron Curtain” educational board game hosted at the IPN Educational Center in Warsaw on 13 June 2017

June 11, 2017
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obal_ENPrague/Warsaw, 11 June 2017. Across the Iron Curtain” is an extraordinary educational board game telling the story of people who managed to escape across the Iron Curtain. It has been developed by an international team of experts from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland. Among them was Karol Madaj from Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance, author of many board games, including the very popular “Kolejka” (Queue), a game published worldwide.

Today’s young generation does not know how hard it was to lead a normal life behind the impermeable Iron Curtain’ says Dr Neela Winkelmann, Managing Director of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience. ‘The worst thing was not the lack of goods in the shops; it was the life in permanent fear, because all our human rights were being violated. Next was the isolation from the free, democratic world. People longed to get out of the Communist dictatorship, to live dignified, free lives. In the game “Across the Iron Curtain,” we have re-created the situation during the Cold War, when people were trying to escape to the West, oftentimes with the assistance of helpers at home and abroad. The players are such escape helpers attempting to bring 30 refugees from 15 East European countries across the Iron Curtain in eight different ways. This is the first board game on the topic of the Iron Curtain worldwide. Its purpose is to educate on recent European history, on human rights and their violations during Communism, as well as inform about the geography and nations of Europe. We hope the players like it!’

The time spent on designing “Across the Iron Curtain” was amazing. I was invited to Prague, where, together with representatives of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience, we worked very hard exclusively on the game. All my other projects had always been created for months, but this time everything happened surprisingly quickly, and we built the whole game mechanics in four days literally. At the end of this stage we tested the game with testers from the Czech Board Games. After the playtest we could exhale a sigh of relief. We managed to create an exciting game that simultaneously delivers a whole lot of reliable historical information. Over the next few months, graphic design and content-related work continued. The effects will be presented at the official premiere’ says Karol Madaj, designer and the head of the Department of Historical Education at The Institute of National Remembrance.

The game premiere will take place on 13 June 2017 at 12.30 at the IPN Education Center “Przystanek Historia”, 21/25 Marszałkowska Str., Warsaw. The program includes an interactive lecture on the escapes from behind the Iron Curtain given by Dr Tomasz Ginter, a Q&A session with one of the fugitives, and a presentation of the game. Participants will have a possibility to test their skills as agents playing the game.

Free admission. The presentation language will be English.

Sneak preview: German university students playing the game Across the Iron Curtain in a café in Prague.

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