Luxembourg's National Museum of Military History has long been on our list of places to visit. It's located in Diekirch, a small toward the north end of Luxembourg which we've driven through many times. We finally paid a visit with Pete's parents when they were back in Lux on the very last leg of their trip.
|a great outing for a rainy day|
To be honest, I was a bit apprehensive. I hadn't researched the place thoroughly, but had heard it was worth seeing. Awhile back I'd seen couple of photos online of the life-sized dioramas, which are the main features of this museum.
Something about the images of the dioramas creeped me out. Maybe I have a subconscious aversion to the blank stare of a mannequin? Who can say. I'm also not a history nor war buff by any stretch of the imagination. Embarrassingly, if you ask all the countries that fought on each side of WWII, I have to really think for a minute. My brain just doesn't store that kind of information well long-tem.
At any rate, my expectations were that the museum would be interesting, but not really my sort of thing. I almost stayed home, but when looking up how to get there I came across the Tripadvisor page and reviewers had raved.
You can probably tell by now that my initial expectations were wrong. I found the museum completely fascinating and not creepy at all. For one thing, I think images of dioramas are probably creepier than dioramas in person. Secondly, they were very tastefully done, not cheesy or tacky at all.
|except I don't remember what was happening in this one...|
The museum covers general Luxembourg military history, with a large section devoted to the Battle of the Bulge (which took place in this area of Luxembourg), and the liberation of Luxembourg with the help of US forces in the fall of 1944.
|River crossing during Battle of the Bulge. Lots of snow.|
|"Luxembourg is free!" I immediately recognized the font at the top because this is the same newspaper I now read every day, in English and online.|
We enjoyed reading all the names of the weapons, ammunition, and vehicles.
|I don't know if you can see the white print, but this one's called "Hitler's Headache"|
|Could they fit one more item into this case? Seems doubtful.|
|easy to get lost in all the interesting details|
In addition to the Luxembourg and US displays, many of the uniforms, artifacts, and first-hand accounts that were used to reconstruct scenes were given to this museum by Germans who fought in WWII. Considering the focus of the museum on Luxembourg's relationship with the Allied Forces and the United States in particular, I found this interesting and quite moving. I enjoyed seeing the German counterparts to many of the scenes and soldiers.
And as we walked passed some of the displays, Pete's parents could point out a type of soldier and tell us which relatives of theirs had fought in that capacity in WWII.
|We Americans don't see images of Nazi flags on our home soil, places we recognize. It was striking to see even just a painting of Nazi flags at our little Luxembourg train station.|
And just when you think you must be reaching the end, a hall opens to a giant room of military vehicles and scenes. There was actually even MORE to see after this room, but we left it for another day.
|Daphne's favorite was this German "Schwimmwagen"|
|looking quite patriotic|
I'll go head and tentatively count this museum visit in the "proud moment" category. Proud to be an American and also proud to be living in the amazing little country of Luxembourg, home to a wonderful military museum - small but packed with cool stuff, just like the country itself.
Happy Belated 4th of July to the USA and Happy Belated National Day (23rd of June) to Luxembourg.