Nazi Board Games

Nazi Germany

Board games were used in the Nazi state for propaganda purposes. The nature of some of the games is quite sickening. Nazi Board games were designed to instill anti-semitic beliefs; to promote the war effort and to develop military awareness. Below is a list of some Nazi Board Games. 

Bomber over England was first released in Germany in 1940. Similar to pinball is design this Nazi game awarded points for dropping the ball (bomb) into holes representing major British cities.   Further information can be found here.

Eagle Defence Game. This Daily Mail article is about Adlers Luftverteidigungs spiel, a board game in which children were encouraged to defend the Fatherland against attack from the air. The game was first released in 1941.

Fallschirmjager Spiel was a paratrooper based game in which points are awarded based on the strategic importance of where the paratrooper lands.

paratroopergame

Hunting for the Coal thief was a Nazi Board Game that was designed to encourage the conservation of resources in the latter years of the war. An overview of the way the game was played can be found here.

Juden Raus was first released in Germany in 1936. The board game rather chillingly asks the players to move Jews to collection points. This game was not produced by the regime. Further information can be found here.

This BBC article discusses several Nazi Board Games, several of which are already noted here. It also refers to a Snakes and Ladders style game, With Prien Against England,  in which the players take the role of a German U-Boat Commander. The article can be read here. Prien was a U-Boat commander who had entered Scapa Flow and inflicted damage on the Royal Navy.

This site contains photographs of some of the Nazi Board Games and additional detail about them. This BBC News story relates to similar artefacts and other items from the Nazi era that are held as a collection in the UK.

The Nazi’s used Board games as a means of indoctrination. Board games have been used elsewhere for political or survival purposes. Two examples that contrast rather sharply with some of the games above are the Allied use of Monopoly sets to aide Prisoner of War escape attempts and inmates at Theresienstadt Concentration camp devising a game that was designed to help teaching survival techniques.