His wife Marianne left the republic after the occupation of the Sudetenland and is impatiently awaiting the arrival of her husband, who was trying to save part of his property from the Nazis in the protectorate. He is due to arrive in England any day now. But he doesn't come and he doesn't even call. Therefore, Marianne asks the secret agent Sir Paul Dukes if he would go to Czechoslovakia and find her husband. And the search begins…
An amazing game called In the shoes of a secret agent was prepared for visitors of the Löw-Beer Villa, which belongs to the Museum of Brno, by historian Jana Černá and educator Markéta Brhlíková. They were inspired by the real life story of the owner of the villa, Alfred Löw-Beer, and above all by the book by Sir Paul Dukes called An Epic of the Gestapo: The Story of a Strange Search. The author, a former agent of the British Secret Service, actually went to the Protectorate and searched for the missing Alfred.
Together with several other educators from Vysočina, I was lucky I could try the search game for myself. Our colleagues from Brno took the time to see us and introduced us to the game. After it was over, there was room for practical questions and a tour of the villa. Almost the entire story takes place in the darkness of the attic of the Löw-Beer villa, which gives the game a mysterious charm. Perfectly prepared playing stations, period relics, historical facts in the form of short film clips accompany the visitor from the first moment. We really enjoyed the game and our colleagues from Brno have our great admiration and respect for such a great achievement!
The search game In the shoes of a secret agent is a great example of pushing the boundaries of museum education. It offers a new perspective on museum presentation in relation to visitors. It can be attended by both families and groups of people who are interested in the history of the location of the art nouveau villa linked to the real story of their owners. I definitely recommend visiting both the villa and the search game. However, the search game dates are booked several months in advance. And no wonder!
Pavlína Pitrová, January 2023