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Him or I Exhibition
With the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands soon approaching, the NMM has created a spectacular exhibition in honour of this historical event like none other! The main exhibition will entail an interesting theme that encompasses pieces and stories from both the Allied and German points of view. The main perspectives highlighted in the exhibition are that of Canadian soldier Léo Major and German solider Hans Kürten. The exhibition tells their stories of the battles and harsh condition they had to face, while also drawing upon similarities to both men's experiences. The aim of the presentation was not only to celebrate the anniversary but also draw a parallel between the two men and to captivate empathy on both sides.
Director Paul van Vlijmen: "Empathy is created through the confrontation with the same events, from a German perspective".
When is It and Where is it Located?
The official opening date for this exhibition is on February 13th,2020 and can be found at the National Military Museum in Vliegbasis Soesterberg, Netherlands.
Official Address: Verlengde Paltzerweg 1, 3768 MX Soest, Netherlands
Born in 1921, this young French Canadian of Quebec decided to join the Canadian military at the age of 19. From 1940-1941, Léo trained as a sharpshooter and radioman and was apart of the Régiment de la Chaudière, which was a primary reserve infantry regiment of the 2nd Canadian Division.
On June 6th, 1944, Léo Major and 14,000 other brave young Canadians stormed Juno Beach in the infamous D-Day landings. The exhibition presents detailed accounts of his journey as Léo and his fellow soldiers fight there way through the Netherlands in the Battle of the Scheldt! Léo Major's heroic journey includes accounts of harsh battles, losing friends and even capturing a whole city single-handedly while wounded!
Born in 1925 in the city of Leverkusen Germany, Hans Kürten was drafted into the German military in 1943 at the age of 18. Although Hans had plans to be a mechanic, he was forced to fight in the Eastern Front in Ukraine.
Even after countless battles, Hans was yet again transferred to a new area to fight in. He would be placed in the 116th Panzerdivision and in in 1944 was sent to Normandy. Throughout the Exhibition, one would see Han's journey from a unique perspective as he battles his way through the streets of Arnhem, losing friends, and becoming severely injured on more than one occasion.
On top of learning more about these 2 brave young men's journey, viewers are in for a special treat as the NMM displays rare WW2 equipment and vehicles brought from all around the world. Although the NMM collection is quite grand, with countless aircraft, weapons and vehicles, some were specially brought from Canada and the United Kingdom. These vehicles would be the same ones used and seen by Léo and Hans and give the audience a good idea of what conditions they faced and the machines they were up against.
Some of the Rare Vehicles Making an Appearance
Canadian Kangaroo Tank
German Tiger II
Manned V1 ‘Reichenberg’
Canadian 'Buffalo' Landing Craft
'Archer' Tank Destroyer
Commemorate With Us
With the 75th Anniversary of Canada’s Liberation of the Netherlands, let us join together in celebration and thanks for the Canadians who sacrificed so much for us. In their honour, we travel to Normandy and Holland for the 75th Commemorative events. Join us to remember the bravery and vigour of our boys on the battlefields during those fateful days. Embrace the Netherlands that we know and love today, and help us honour the sacrifice endured by keeping our Canadian story alive. If you would like to join us on the upcoming program commemorating the 75th Anniversary of Canadians in Holland, or if you would like more information in regards to the events taking place in France/Holland for the anniversary, Click Here