Betuws War Museum – The Island ’44-’45
If I would need three words to describe this museum I’d say: Quality Above Quantity.
Before I rang the bell I wasn’t sure if I was at the right address. A man opened the door and we told about the museum. He welcomed us and sent us to the backyard. Different than any other museum, this one was located in a shed.
As I entered the shed I thought “Is this it?” Most museums tend to have more than one room and the shed wasn’t that big. Then I realized how many different items were exhibited in such a small space. British items, American items, German items. From a grenade shard that he found in the house of his grandma to the hull of a British boat that was used for river crossings between ’44-’45 and after the war used as a sorting table for apples.
There were two other people visiting, so the owner had plenty of time in telling us the story behind every item he got. I listened to his incredible stories and realized I had never seen and heard this before. Literally every item had it’s own story!
To give you an example of one the stories, I recorded the man telling a story about a British WW2 helmet. I made it easy for you and added English subtitles.
Here’s the beautiful story of a British World War 2 Helmet!
My favorite item was a battledress from one the 26 Luxembourg volunteers who fought in the Betuwe area. This was very interesting to me, because I didn’t know that Belgian and Luxembourg volunteers fought in The Netherlands! It seems that they joined up with Belgian volunteers to fight against the Germans. Luxembourg was liberated around September and was annexed to Germany at the start of the war. Some Luxembourg men were forced to join the German army and fight on the Eastern Front.
The museum closed at 17:00 and we arrived at 16:00. After an hour the man didn’t mind continue talking, and so we listened for another 30 minutes. I’m sure that if I arrived earlier, I could have heard more stories.
Before we left I asked the man what his most favorite item was in his collection. He showed me the diary of his father dated from 1944. It was his very first item of his collection and so it marked the start of something big.
Almost every museum has it’s own story, but this museum has tens of stories! If I would have to rate this museum I would give a 5 out of 5 for sure.
Check out the website: http://www.betuwsoorlogmuseum.nl for more information!
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