World War II Museums, Events and Memorials.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: WW2 Tours, Historical reenactment: Living history, Collectors, Remains of fallen soldiers, Medals: Most decorated legends, WWII monuments (and controversies).
Rumors were true: Pro-Nazi text found under a statue of the Unknown Soldier at a war memorial in Vienna
A pro-Nazi text has been discovered under a statue at a war memorial in Vienna. The document - expressing hopes of the German people`s unification under the Sonnenrad - a reference to the Nazi swastika - was found in a capsule under the statue of the Unknown Soldier. It was put there by sculptor Wilhelm Frass in 1935 - three years before Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany. The metal capsule has now been removed, and the memorial will be redesigned. For years the war memorial was dogged by rumours that a Nazi document had been hidden there.
Visiting a German WWII bunker on the outskirts of Antwerp at the Bunker Museum (14 pics)
Belgium had it tough in WWII. Unlike in the First World War, the Low Countries and France were quickly overrun by Wehrmacht. Nazi-occupied Belgium was soon covered with fortifications, because the Germans feared an Allied landing. In a park on the outskirts of Antwerp you can see a network of these bunkers at the Bunker Museum (There are 11 bunkers, including barracks, a hospital, a communications bunker, and two large command bunkers). One of the command bunkers has been turned into a museum. The roof is 2.5 meters thick. Inside are recreated sleeping quarters, displays about the war around Antwerp, and a large collection of parts from the V-1 and V-2 rockets.
Conflict-Series: A highly rated strategy game series for Android
If you love classic PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series for Android. Some of the WWII Campaigns include D-Day 1944, Operation Barbarossa, Invasion of Poland 1939, France 1940, Kursk 1943, Market Garden, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Rommel's North African campaign, the Battle of Bulge, and the Battle of Berlin 1945. In addition there are American Civil War, First World War and American Revolutionary War scenarios available.
(available on Google Play & Amazon App Store)
Smashed Jeep, V2 rocket, skull recall wartime horror in German Army Museum in Dresden
One look at American architect Daniel Libeskind`s latest project in Dresden is enough to make you realize that this is no ordinary Museum. The German Military History Museum, owned and managed by Germany`s armed forces Bundeswehr, throws up a challenge to traditional portrayals of military history: Battle heroes, patriotism and ideology are absent, even gadget fetishism is restrained. The Dresden museum has, after all, served the armies of five different regimes - including the Nazis - and was, until 1990, the ideological home of the National People`s Army under East Germany`s communist dictatorship.
It took 70 years, but Pearl Harbor museum now shows Japanese perspective
Political assassinations in Tokyo. Censorship and the stifling of dissent. A nation hungry for oil and other natural resources. Kimono-wearing women boarding street cars. Visitors to Pearl Harbor are seeing these snapshots of 1930s Japan as they tour the National Park Service`s new museum devoted to the Dec. 7, 1941, attack that dragged the United States into the Second World War. This is a major departure from the old collection devoted to one of worst foreign attacks ever on American soil — what life was like in Japan at the time didn`t much figure into the one sided view.
Aging survivors give up precious Holocaust memorabilia and relics
Yad Vashem chairman Avner Shalev said the campaign to collect memorabilia - like letters, photographs, and toys - before Holocaust survivors died was "a kind of race against time so that they will be remembered". Recent attempts to deny the Holocaust, particularly by Iran, have refocused Israeli efforts to collect survivors` testimonies and relics.
"Imagine if we had six million testimonies, it would stand for ever against all the Holocaust deniers... practically any new testimony or artifact adds something to this process."
Too many Holocaust museums: The Association of Holocaust Organizations has 293 institutional members
Is the Holocaust too much with us? Or if not the Holocaust, then Holocaust museums? The Association of Holocaust Organizations has 293 institutional members around the globe. The association counts 16 major Holocaust museums in the United States. And they are still being built. Two years ago the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center opened near Chicago. And the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust opened in a new $15.5 million building in 2010.
Hitler and the Germans -exhibition in Berlin extended 3 week due to large number of visitors
The exhibition "Hitler and the Germans" will continue 3 extra weeks - until February 27 - because of the large number of visitors it still pulls in, the German Historical Museum announced. Over 915,000 visitors saw the exhibit in 2010: 28% from Berlin, 40% from the rest of Germany, and 32% from abroad. The exhibition features 600 objects and 400 photographs revealing how Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler could draw on the loyalty of average Germans in 1933-1945.
Hitler and the Germans: Nation and Crime -exhibition breaks Hitler taboo (12 photos)
A new exhibition at Berlin`s German Historical Museum breaks taboos by trying to explain how and why the Nazi dictator held such sway over Germans. The huge collection of Nazi propaganda and memorabilia does not glorify Hitler, curator Simone Erpel states, adding that the items are dealt with "critical distance - we`re not making Hitler look like a hero." 6 years ago a similar exhibition - "Hitler and the National Socialist Regime" - seemed to personalised and it was rejected. The visualisation of Hitler is still problematic: While a Moscow museum has one of Hitler`s uniforms, borrowing it was not an option.
Everett`s Flying Heritage Collection museum adds Jagdpanzer 38(t) and Soviet T-34 tank to its collection
The World War II air unit seen flying over Paine Field now has ground forces to back it up. Two battle tanks, one from the Soviet Union and one from Nazi Germany, will roll out on Memorial Day. Billionaire Paul Allen acquired the tanks, along with 3 German Flak 88 anti-aircraft guns, for his Flying Heritage Collection museum at Paine Field. The Soviet T-34 tank is viewed as one of the best tanks ever made. This tank and the German tank, the Jagdpanzer 38(t), or Hetzer, are both so heavy their tracks tear up concrete. They have to have 10-foot long, 100-pound rubber mats laid down in front of them wherever they go.
The 45th Infantry Division Museum chronicles the progress of the American fighters in World War II (Article no longer available from the original source)
"Born at sea, baptized in blood, your fame shall never die." Those are the words General George S. Patton said of the 45th Infantry Division, and keeping that promise is the mission of the 45th Infantry Division Museum, 2145 N.E. 36th. The museum serves as a historical archive of Oklahoma military history, and its primary purpose is to record the World War II feats of the Fightin` 45th. The museum features Allied and Axis weapons, military uniforms and other WW2 militaria and memorabilia. The museum also houses a collection of original drawings by Bill Mauldin, and items which once belonged to Adolf Hitler.
UK Tank Museum in £40,000 public appeal to save German Tiger Tank
The Tank Museum in Dorset has launched a public appeal to save a 57-ton German panzer - one of the most biggest armoured vehicles in World War II. The Tiger Tank - one of 1,354 Tiger tanks made - was captured in a battle in Tunisia in 1943, having been hit by a 6-pound shot after taking out two Churchill tanks. Produced in 1942 to meet the Wehrmacht`s vision of a panzer huge enough to provide a psychological edge over Allied crews. It had a lethal 88mm gun and sheet armour thick enough to resist most Allied anti-tank weaponry, but was it was put at a disadvantage in difficult terrain by its weight.
WWII vets up in arms over display of Josef Stalin`s bust at National D-Day Memorial
The National D-Day Memorial has sparked outrage by including to its lineup of Allied leaders a bust of the Soviet dictator who helped start WW2 and the Cold War. Not only did Stalin kill more people than Adolf Hitler, but his hands were soaked with the blood of millions of Ukrainians even before he and Hitler attacked Poland and started the World War Two in 1939. As Hitler`s ally, Stalin`s henchmen marched over a million Poles and Jews off to Siberia and murdered 22,000 Polish officers in the Katyn Forest. Stalin is included with the busts of Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill because the Soviets "secured the eastern front and helped win the war."
National WWII Museum building dedication glorifies the fighters, not the fight
350 WW2 veterans were guests of honor at the dedication of the National World War II Museum`s latest building. Among them was Bert Stolier, who was on hand for both ends of the war: He survived the attack on Pearl Harbor, and saw the Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri. Stolier thinks the museum is vital, without it "there won`t be anyone left to tell what went on." The new building is the first component of a bigger expansion. The building includes the Solomon Victory Theater, which shows "Beyond All Boundaries," a 35min movie that uses special effects like lights, fog, and rumbling floor, to give viewers a taste of what GIs experienced.
The only Nazi Memorial in London: Giro the Nazi Dog
Giro the Nazi Dog is the only Nazi memorial in London. Giro was owned by Dr Leopold von Hoesch - the German Ambassador in London 1932-1936. Giro died in 1934 from accidental eletrocution and was given a full Nazi burial. There was a Nazi Embassy in London 1936-1939 at 9 Carlton House Terrace - now used by the Royal Society - and Nazi architect Albert Speer was involved in the building`s renovation. The Nazis had to leave when the second world war started and the Foreign Office removed most of the swastikas - but there is a border design of swastikas on the floor of one public room.
Militaria and memorabilia from nisei veterans preserved in the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center on Maui
Like many college-educated men of Japanese ancestry in Hawaii before the Second World War, Mitsuyoshi Fukuda was not able to find any professional work except teaching at a public school. But the war propelled him toward becoming a lieutenant in the Japanese-American 100th Battalion, which fought in Nazi-occupied Europe. He rose to the rank of major, and returned home to break racial barriers as the first Japanese-American executive in a major Hawaii firm. His WW2 papers, along with memorabilia from other Japanese-American soldiers, are being donated to archives that will be held in an educational building being constructed at the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center in Maui.
National D-Day memorial foundation facing downturn in all major
On the eve of the 65th anniversary of D-Day, the foundation that runs the National D-Day Memorial is facing a funding crisis. Donations are down in the poor economy, plus WW2 veterans (the primary base of support) are dwindling in numbers. The privately funded memorial has trouble pulling in enough visitors because it is hundreds of miles from a major city (It was built in Bedford because the community`s losses on D-Day were among the nation`s highest per capita). Facing the future of cutbacks, the memorial`s president thinks its only hope for long-term survival is to be taken over by the National Park Service or by a university.
The Tank Story: Bovington Tank Museum expects opening to go with a bang
Bovington`s Tank Museum is making the last preparations for Saturday: the new 50,000 sq ft exhibition hall will open its doors to the public for the first time. The date also co-occurs with the 70th anniversary of the Bovington-based Royal Armoured Corps. Saturday will see an all-action tank display with 20 military vehicles traversing the new arena. The Army will re-enact an attack and the Royal Armoured Corps parachute display team will be visiting. Also featuring will be the Light Cavalry Band, and talks from serving soldiers. The new exhibition, The Tank Story, chronicles the history of the battle tank.
1/5th scale model of the North American B-25 Mitchell donated to Military Memorial Museum
Brookhaven Academy teacher and Brookhaven Radio Controlled Club member Greg Whittier presented the elderly veterans who run the museum with a 1/5th scale model of the North American B-25 Mitchell, an American medium bomber used in the Second World War. Whittier had been building the WW2 model airplane off-and-on for 10 years. The B-25 Mitchell was the plane used in the famous Doolittle Raid in April 1942. "I figure if I donate it, it will last way longer than it would otherwise. The ones I fly don`t last very long."
At the controls - exhibit in Las Vegas` Atomic Testing Museum
Las Vegas` Atomic Testing Museum is taking a different view to the history of flight: from the inside looking out. The museum is hosting "At the controls: The Smithsonian`s National Air and Space Museum Looks at Cockpits," an examination of how early planes looked to the aviation pioneers who flew them. The exhibit posters are actually photos of famous airplane replicas. One was of the Spirit of Saint Louis, which Charles Lindbergh flew alone in 1927 from New York to Paris, and which the Smithsonian has in its museum. Another was the cockpit of the Enola Gay, the B-29 Superfortress bomber that dropped the first atomic bomb used in warfare in 1945 over Hiroshima.
National World War II Museum in New Orleans looking for Kitchen Memories
When an army travels on its stomach, homefront marches along with it. That`s sort of the thinking by the curators of the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, which is collecting "Kitchen Memories" of the war years - oral histories, photos and recipes: anything that records what families recall, either directly or through lore, of food culture during the war. The museum, which pulled in 150,000 visitors in 2008, is undergoing a $300 million expansion that will triple its size.
Jewish Museum in Berlin retraces artwork looted by Nazis during World War II
6 decades after Nazis looted artwork from Jews, an unprecedented Berlin exhibition tells both sides of the case: how property was seized and efforts to have it restored. "Looting and Restitution: Jewish-owned Cultural Artifacts from 1933 to the Present", at the Jewish Museum Berlin, concentrates on 15 different pieces looted from Jewish families. Using photos and WWII-era documents, the show not only sets up the historical context but looks at who benefitted from or played a role in the looting, including at times shady dealings by museums, libraries and art dealers. It also probes efforts after 1945 to restore the works to their owners.
Kubinka Tank Museum in Russia (Article no longer available from the original source)
In the small town of Kubinka exists a huge but largely unknown tank museum, which belongs to a former top-secret re¡©search institute for armored vehicles. It has over 300 armored vehicles from 11 countries, including 180-ton German tank (Panzerkampfwagen VIII Maus, super-heavy tank design by Ferdinand Porsche) with almost a meter-thick plate of armor. Not even the Germans have a model of this vehicle - Kubinka has the only remaining prototype. Since World War II tanks were taken as trophies - like the American M60 Patton tank that was stolen from the Israeli army. One King Tiger tank has the signature of a Soviet captain that he had welded into the vehicle`s armor.
Visit two Paine Field aviation museums for historic and futuristic views of the industry
Paine Field is home to two unique aviation museums, one focused on the past and the other on the future (Future of Flight Center and Boeing Tour facility). For WWII history buffs, there is Paul Allen`s Flying Heritage Collection, containing restored aircraft such as the P-51, P-40, Supermarine Mk.Vc Spitfire, Fiesler Storch Fi 156-C2 Storch, Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3 Emil, Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-13 Dora, Messerschmitt Me 163B Komet, Fiesler Fi 103/V-1 "Buzz Bomb", Japanese Mitsubishi A6M5 Zero-Sen, Nakajima Ki-43-1c Hayabusa (Oscar) and Russian Polikarpov PO-2. It`s one of the world`s rarest collections of flight-ready World War II warbirds.
Photos of the most moving memorials
Here is a selection of BBC readers` most moving monuments with photographs. The list includes: The Pinkas Synagogue memorial in Prague. The Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France. The Peace Park in Hiroshima. The Russian Cemetery with a giant Russian soldier in East Berlin.
Survey: Russian museums missing 50,000 items - Medals, weapons, jewelry
An audit has shown that up to 50,000 pieces are missing from Russia`s museums. Putin ordered the audit after his government was humiliated in 2006 by hundreds of thefts from the crown jewel of Russia`s art world, St. Petersburg`s Hermitage gallery. Over 1,600 museums have been scrutinised and most of them have items missing. Most of the disappeared inventory was pre-Revolutionary and Soviet-era medals, weapons and clothes. Russian museums do not have computerized records, some items have handwritten descriptions in Soviet-era log books, but most only have a single-line description, making tracking them almost impossible.
Lidice education centre offers detailed catalogue of Nazi horrors
The Lidice museum, which stands on the site of the Czech village that was razed by the Nazis in 1942, opened a new education centre. Among other things, it will give visitors and scholars access to a detailed historical archive of material about one of the most infamous Nazi atrocities of WW2: The German massacre of the Czech village of Lidice in revenge for the assassination of Reichsprotektor Reinhard Heydrich. On 10 June 1942, Nazi troops stormed into Lidice. All the men over 15 years of age were lined up against a wall and shot while the rest were moved to concentration camps.
Planned O.C. museum to have dozens of historic aircraft and WW2 militaria
In past constructing a central park was about creating an escape from urban life. But the architects of the Orange County Great Park, being built on 1,347 acres of the former El Toro Marine Corps base, are taking a new approach, embracing the site`s military past. In one such move, the park`s board plans to accept the donation of a World War II-era patrol aircraft and bomber as the first artifact for an aviation museum awaited to feature dozens of historic aircraft, militaria and memorabilia. Bill Kogerman, a retired Marine colonel, said the 1943 Lockheed PV-1 Ventura was "a fairly old and rare acquisition." The model was used for night flights during World War 2.
Restoration giving Chattanooga`s Medal of Honor Museum an overhaul
Chattanooga`s Medal of Honor Museum`s collection was badly damaged by water and mold in it`s former storage facility. But, now those damaged items are being salvaged. World War II veteran Roberta McDevitt: "Handling these things brings back certain memories, some of them good, some of them bad." Thanks to numerous volunteer hours 250,000-300,000 items are being preserved one piece at a time. Director Patti Parks says through a pain-staking process 5% of the items have been cleaned and archived, so far. The militaria collection includes over 700 military uniforms, hundreds of medals, photos and personal items.
Char B Tank, used during the WWII occupation of Jersey, heading back (Article no longer available from the original source)
A german tank used during the WWII occupation of Jersey is heading back to the island after 6 decades. After the 1945 Allied victory the Char B Tank was shipped to the Bovington Tank Museum: presently under a major rebuild. Now the 25-tonne former heavyweight is temporarily returning to its wartime home to form a display at the Jersey War Tunnels attraction. Tank museum curator David Willey said: "The Char B has great significance to the island as it was one of 17 tanks... stationed in Jersey." Andrew Ridgway explained: "knowing that there was a Renault Char B1 in the collection that had been based in Jersey... I offered accommodation for it in Jersey."
Canadian War Museum shows restored German Panzer V: Panther tank (Article no longer available from the original source)
The Canadian War Museum has finished a 2-year restoration of a WWII-era German Panzer V tank. Panthers, as the Pz V tanks were known, were among the largest battle tanks made in quantity during the war. They were planned to combat the Soviet T-34 tanks that Nazi Germany ran into after the invasion of Russia in June 1941. By war`s end, almost 6,000 Panthers had been deployed on all fronts. As part of the restoration, the exterior surfaces were covered with a "zimmerit" paste created from a WWII recipe. Zimmerit was used to tank surfaces to overcome magnetic anti-tank mines. Panthers and T-34s, both on display in the Museum, are considered to be the best tanks of the war.
Holocaust museum opens at Belsen, where Anne Frank died
Germany has opened ceremoniously a museum at the site of the Nazi concentration camp where Anne Frank died. The new museum at Bergen-Belsen highlights the fates of those who died at the camp during World War II. Among the exhibits are photographs, drawings and diaries, plus video statements by survivors. Some 100 survivors were at the ceremony. The new exhibition is part of an effort to reconstruct the lives of those sent to Bergen-Belsen during the Nazi occupation of Europe.
UK diplomats cycle tour of russian war memorials
Staff at the British Embassy in Moscow have begun a 10-day, 1700km, cycling tour of war memorials in Russia. The 3-man team will visit monuments in 11 cities from St Petersburg to Volgograd (Stalingrad) to pay tribute to those who fought and died in the Second World War. The men will lay wreaths at war momuments in each of the 11 cities they visit. The last one will be left in Volgograd, the scene of a decisive WWII battle.
Pre-D-Day invasion exercise Tiger memorial rededicated (Article no longer available from the original source)
Serving in the Navy during World War II, John Sarkes lived through a deadly event that was kept quiet for decades. Sarkes, a Navy Seabee, was in a pre-D-Day invasion exercise off the English coast code named Tiger. Tank landing ships, LSTs, came under attack on April 28, 1944, by high-speed German torpedo boats, leaving 749 Americans dead. "Eisenhower kept it secret because it was so close to D-Day." Sarkes, a machinist mate third class, joined on the 63rd anniversary of the attack to dedicate a memorial at its new Fort Taber Park location. The Exercise Tiger memorial to honor the men lost during the exercise is a Sherman tank, similar to tanks carried by LSTs.
Museum honoring Adm. Chester Nimitz re-opens in Fredericksburg
One of the most respected leaders of World War II was Admiral Chester Nimitz. He led the U.S. to victory in the Pacific. Hundreds of visitors and history buffs gathered in Fredericksburg to re-open a museum in his name. After $3 million and 3 years of renovating, a piece of Fredericksburg history is reborn. The new Admiral Nimitz Museum sits inside the Museum of Pacific War. "I think it`s great. It kind of tells a whole lot of the history and the admiral`s life and everything," visitor Vernell Oehler said.
Memorial in Berlin defiled
The German authorities were preparing for criticism after it was revealed that a Holocaust memorial in Berlin was being used as a public lavatory by tourists and by neo-Nazi sympathisers. One argument against building the monument was that it would become a target of anti-Semitic vandals. The managers of the memorial have tried to play down the scandal: "This just belongs to the teething problems of any new monument." The monument consists of 2,700 concrete slabs and attracts 3.5 million visitors a year.
Memorial marks World War II women in Uniform
A memorial to the role women played in World War II is being unveiled at the National Memorial Arboretum. The seated figure of a young woman in Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) uniform will be unveiled during a service at Alrewas. There will also be a display of military vehicles and a 90cm searchlight. The Women`s ATS was launched in 1938 and after the outbreak of war 300 ATS members were sent to France. By the end of the war there were 190,000 members. Their roles extended to include radar operators, military police, gun crews and many other tasks. There will also be a display of military vehicles, a 90cm searchlight and a military pipes and drum band.
Museum of Vintage military vehicles used in war movies
Vintage military vehicles used in war movies make their home in Rusk — and belong to Tom Townsend, owner of Toyland Military Museum, East Texas’ largest, privately owned military vehicle collection. Tom, as a tank platoon commander in the 1960s, earned the rank of First Lieutenant. "It all began when I was hired to work on the movie, ‘Courage Under Fire.’ They couldn’t find a whole lot of people who could drive tanks." The museum consists of more than a dozen operational military vehicles from World War II through Desert Storm, plus weapons, uniforms and military artifacts.
Classic vehicles - Ferrets and Lynxes and Sherman tanks
Ferrets and a black-smoke-belching diesel-powered vintage Sherman make up part of the 72 vehicle collection of the Oshawa Aeronautical, Military and Industrial Museum located at the municipal airport, which served as a Second World War Commonwealth air-training base. One of the goals of the museum volunteers is to have all the vehicles actually run, and more than 40 currently do. A tour begins with the artifact section before moving out to the machinery hanger. This is tightly packed with a Sherman and Chaffee tank, Bren gun carrier, Chevy staff car, a Willys Jeep, a M37 Dodge Power Wagon...
German town postpones tribute to Nazi-era engineers
A German town has postponed plans to honor German aviation engineers Willy Messerschmitt and Claude Dornier -- known for their aircraft production in the Nazi era -- after protests. Dornier died in 1969; Messerschmitt in 1978. Historians say both aircraft engineers had close ties to the Nazi regime. The Luftwaffe used the Messerschmitt Bf 109 in the "Battle of Britain" while later models were used at the Eastern front against the Soviet Union.
Cologne Museum Sheds Light on Nazi Era
"The Best in Heritage" is a commendation given to a handful of museums worldwide. Amsterdam`s Anne Frank Museum has one -- and Cologne`s Nazi Documentation Center does too. The Nazis seized the building from jeweler Leopold Dahmen, and turned it into the headquarters for the state secret police. Prisoners were forced to build their own torture cells in the basement of the building, while Gestapo officers carried out business as usual on the upper floors. By a twist of fate, the building survived the bombing of Cologne, which destroyed some 90%of the buildings standing in the city`s downtown.
Prague Jewish Museum paradoxically expanded during WW2
The collections of the Prague Jewish Museum, which will this year celebrate its 100-year anniversary, were paradoxically enriched to the largest extent during WWII. In 1942-44, Germans, upon the initiative of the Jewish Museum employees, transported Jewish artifacts from the abolished Jewish communities in the occupied Czech Lands to Prague where the Central Jewish Museum was set up. A team of the Jewish museum experts then worked to carefully map the collections. In Nov 1942, the Gestapo allowed to hold a display of Jewish books and manuscripts. The paper points out that it is still one of "the war mysteries" why Nazis tolerated such activities.