Forced Abroad – Days of a Forced Laborer

The visual novel is based on original diary entries and tells a little-known chapter of German history – for the first time in the form of a game. The app is accompanied by educational materials for teaching about Nazi forced labor, designed for teenagers aged 12 and older.


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About the Visual Novel

“At first, Jan de Boer is fortunate. He avoids the raid conducted by the Nazis in November 1944 in occupied Rotterdam to deport young men to forced labor in Germany. For several weeks, he and his family struggle through a winter marked by hunger and extreme cold until he is finally conscripted for labor on January 8, 1945. It begins a journey into the unknown under the harshest conditions, eventually bringing him to Munich. He records his daily experiences in a diary, documenting his fear, homesickness, and the harsh working conditions, but also how he manages not to give up.

The visual novel ‘Forced Abroad’ illustrates what the time in the forced labor camp meant for Jan and the choices he had.”

Target Group: 12 and older

Our Recommendation

The visual novel game is particularly well-suited for sensitizing people to the themes of Nazi history, forced labor, and deportation, using the protagonist’s story as an example. While the game follows a real biography, users can influence the plot with their decisions. The game can be downloaded for free from the Apple Store or Google Play Store. Additionally, the novel is also available in book form.

In terms of memory culture, the game has been classified by the Foundation for Digital Game Culture for Migration Lab Germany

About the Context of Origin

During the project period from January 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022, Migration Lab Germany brought together 15 partner organizations from the fields of museums, schools, migrant organizations, memorials, and extracurricular cultural and political education. They developed their own model projects at their specific learning and meeting places, which explore and pedagogically or artistically engage with the complex topic of migration with children, young people, and adults. The educational material for using the ‘Forced Abroad. Days of a Forced Laborer’ app in school lessons is one of them. All the multimedia educational media created here are presented on our website

Migration Lab Germany and the 15 model projects are funded by the Foundation for Remembrance, Responsibility, and the Future (EVZ), the Commissioner of the Federal Government for Migration, Refugees, and Integration, the Commissioner of the Federal Government for Anti-Racism, and the Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb). The publication does not represent the opinion of the EVZ Foundation. The authors are responsible for the content.

Learn more about Migration Lab.

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