War – Occupation – Liberation

On May 9, 2019 the Royal Military Museum, one of the War Heritage Institute sites, opens a new permanent exhibition about Belgium and the Second World War. More than 1,000 collection items presented over 1,500 m2illustrate an important page in our country’s history.

This innovative and surprising exhibition completes and concludes the display about the inter-war era and the outbreak of the Second World War the Military Museum had created a few years ago and which has now been thoroughly modernized.

As of May 9, 2019 the impressive Bordiau Gallery supplies the visitor with a complete overview of military history in Belgium and Europe between 1919 and 1945 (with a total of more than 2,000 collection items over 3,000 m2).   

The new exhibition tells the story of Belgium’s occupation and liberation (1940-1944) or of the end of the war in Europe and Asia (1944-1945) and also focuses on national-socialist repression, persecution and genocides (1933-1945). The display goes well beyond traditional military history and zooms in the social, political, economic and human consequences of the war. The visitor is treated to a balanced historical and scientific account, in which the options, possibilities and “choices” in times of war are a recurrent theme. Taboo issues are not avoided: Belgian institutions, the part played by the king, resistance, collaboration, persecution of Jews and repression are all highlighted and put into context. 

The twelve new exhibition spaces are superb examples of modern and attractive scenography in perfect equilibrium with the subjects broached. Floor and wall treatments, lighting and showcases make for a harmonious visit. Spectacular multimedia applications complete the creation. 

However, the Museum stays true to its calling: the real attention catchers are and remain the unique and exceptional collection items putting the visitor in direct contact with the past.