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Monopoly in the Ghetto

This is how we will remember

by
Marc Tracy
November 09, 2010
Ghetto Monopoly.(board)
Ghetto Monopoly.(board)

At Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum/memorial in Israel, there is a cardboard, hand-drawn Monopoly board made in the Theresienstadt ghetto in what was then Czechoslovakia. The properties—the Marvin Gardens, Park Place, etc.—are locations in the ghetto, which, interestingly, were named after various German cities. And CNN gathered Micha and Dan Glass, the two brothers who played the game, salvaged it, and donated it, in front of the board. (They survived the ghetto, along with their mother; their father was killed in Auschwitz.)

Historical documentation is of the utmost importance, of course. But after all the survivors are gone, I am betting that it is going to be things like a Theresienstadt-specific Monopoly board—little, almost novelistic details that are so idiosyncratic and unlikely they simply could not have been imagined—that we are going to turn to teach unsuspecting younger generations abut what really did happen to the Jews of Europe.

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.

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