How the Game of Monopoly Saved Over 10,000 Soldiers - The Creation of an Escape Kit

 Clutty went to work immediately.  In top secret meetings with the Waddington Company, they devised a plan to print maps on silk fabric that show escape routes from the various prison camps to safety.  Along the routes, the maps marked safe houses of resistance members who could provide food, shelter and civilian clothing to escapees. 

They chose silk because paper maps would be too noisy if quickly wadded up to hide in a pocket, and if paper maps got wet they would be ruined.  Some of the maps were sewn into soldier jackets, but most prisoners were given prisoner clothes to wear and the maps were lost forever.  Silk maps could be hidden in boots, socks, or cigarette packages to avoid detection.

 But Clutty knew that soldiers in prisoner of war camps were allowed to receive parcels from the Red Cross and approached them to hide these maps inside the packages.  The Red Cross refused because they could not risk their reputation with Germany of being a relief organization and neutral in the war. 

So he invented a whole series of fictitious charitable organizations, complete with fake addresses, to send packages to prison camps. Some of the names of the fake organizations were “Prisoners’ Leisure Hours Fund” and “Licensed Victuallers’ Sports Association”. Some of the packages sent were ordinary relief materials, but some were very special.

 The packages contained soap, sweaters, chocolate, and other small comforts for prisoners. But the most important items in the packages were board games, and Monopoly was the most in demand.

 German guards allowed the board games to be distributed to the prisoners because they knew that in captivity the men were bored and believed that if they had something to occupy the time they would have less time to think about escaping.

Original Release: Nov 19, 2015

Updated Last Revision: Jun 02, 2016

1) Heussner, Ki Mae, Get Out of Jail Free: Monopoly's Hidden Maps, ABC News, Sep/18/2009, Sep/29/2015, http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/monopolys-hidden-maps-wwii-pows-escape/story?id=865905

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"The Creation of an Escape Kit" AwesomeStories.com. Nov 19, 2015. Mar 19, 2019.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips