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News

Hundreds of love letters written during the Second World War were saved from destruction. They could be handed over to the family through a tweet by Cécile, an employee of an environmental agency in Aix-en-Provence (Bouches du Rhône) who had been detached to a recycling site in Saint-Jean-d’Angély (Charente-Maritime) for a few days. She decided to put a message on Twitter to locate the author and the addressee of the letters. Her message was shared over 10,000 times … and Cécile reached her goal: a family member contacted her through the social network. The letters belonged to Pierre and Aimée. The couple had mar...

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The ceremonies for the 76th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge took place without public and the Nuts weekend in Bastogne therefore was virtual.

Bastogne Barracks had not organized any activities, but its large vehicle hall was accessible upon reservation. The weekend counted three highlights: the inauguration of the monument honouring nurses Renée Lemaire and Augusta Chiwy, the unveiling of the plaque thanking American patrons at the Mardasson and the inauguration of the completely refurbished Boggess fort. Three vehicles from the War Heritage Institute Bastogne Barracks site were present, among them the S...

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The Defence military cemeteries are characterized by their uniformity. However, Joseph Naus’ tombstone in the Belgian military cemetery of Steenkerke is an exception to that rule. A German bullet ended the life of 19-year old Private Naus in the trenches at Pervijze. He is one of the few to be buried under a tombstone largely different from the well-known Belgian model.

We thank Jean-Luc Baerckmans for this information!

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Human Rights Day is celebrated each year on the 10 December, because on that day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This text sets out basic or fundamental rights, and, to this day, has huge significance as a general, moral and legal standard, and is frequently used as a source text for new international conventions or amendments of the constitution. Human rights activists and organisations use it as a point of reference for their operations.

Each year, all of the member nations of the UN are invited to celebrate this event. Each year the WHI site the...

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Dear visitors,

The War Heritage Institute sites are once again open to the public and adapt their timetables during the end-of-year period.


Reservation is mandatory, either by email or by phone (during opening hours):

Royal Military Museum (open from 10 a.m. till 4 p.m.):
National Memorial of Fort Breendonk (open from 10 a.m. till 4 p.m.):
Trench of death (Dixmude) (open from 10 a.m. till 4 p.m.):
  • Opening d...

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Two War Heritage Institute sites will once again be accessible to the public as of Tuesday 1 December 2020: the Royal Military Museum (Brussels) and the National Memorial of Fort Breendonk (Willebroek).

Reservation is mandatory, either by email or by phone (during opening hours):


Following measures will however h...

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“CS, Mil, TAG, Bon, Gn.,…”: For those unfamiliar with military slang these letters merely are a few incomprehensible abbreviations. The Belgian War Dead Register helps you out with an explanatory list.

A short version is featured here: www.wardeadregister.be/en/military-abbreviations

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In the night of November 17 to 18 Ilse Bogaerts (curator of the uniforms and iconographic collections), Hannes Vanwymelbeke and Elle Jacobs (Remembrance Service) participated in an international on line conference entitled “Commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the Korean War: Roles and Challenges of War Museums and Memorials”.

The War Memorial of Korea, who organized the conference, gave the floor to various museums, who each in turn presented the lessons learnt and the experiences gained while studying various conflicts. The accent was put on which story to tell and how to pass this story on to future...

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He chose to go by the name of FALO: Fernand Allard l’Olivier was one of the official Belgian army painters in the early 20th century. The Military Museum was to set up a temporary presentation of his work, but COVID decided otherwise. The Museum staff was nevertheless happy to rediscover his paintings in a new book dedicated to him.

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Paul Sobol, one of the last Auschwitz witnesses, passed away yesterday, aged 93.

Paul Sobol was one of the very last Belgian witnesses of the Auschwitz horrors. He was born in 1926, of Jewish descent, was arrested in Brussels with his entire family on 13 June 1944 and deported with the XXVIth convoy from Mechelen to Auschwitz on 31 July 1944.

On the scene he narrowly escaped immediate extermination in the gas chambers. He was selected for labour and experienced the terrible ordeal of life in the concentration camps. He was liberated by the Russian troops in January 1945: he had survived his deportation.

As...

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