War museums in Holland

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WWII was an important period in Dutch history. It is therefore no surprise that there are many war museums in Holland, and we have selected the best of them for you. Discover the story of Operation Market Garden, what happened during the Battle of the Scheldt, and what went on in the concentration camps. Follow the trail of the liberators and learn all about the occupation and liberation of Holland.

  • See history come to life in the best war museums in Holland.
  • Discover all about WWII.
  • Commemorate the war and celebrate freedom.

Airborne Museum 'Hartenstein' - Oosterbeek

Airborne Museum ‘Hartenstein’ in Oosterbeek is the museum that provides information on the Battle of Arnhem in September 1944. At the former British headquarters, stories from British, Polish and German soldiers as well as terrified civilians come to life. The award-winning Airborne Experience (900 m2) puts you right in the middle of the battle, bringing the Battle of Arnhem home.

Information centre Airborne at the Bridge - Arnhem

The new ‘Airborne at the Bridge’ Information Center is located at the foot of the historic John Frost Bridge, the ‘bridge too far’. It tells the personal stories of a British lieutenant, a German Hauptsturmführer and a Dutch captain who fought at this site and were killed in the Battle of Arnhem in September 1944.

Information Centre: The Poles of Driel - Driel

The Information Centre The Poles of Driel in the village of Driel revolves around the battle of the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade during Operation Market Garden. Learn more about the origin of the brigade and their dishonorable treatment after the operation failed.

Freedom Museum – Groesbeek

The Freedom Museum in Groesbeek tells the complete story of Operation Market Garden and the Rhineland Offensive. You will experience the war, the occupation and liberation of Holland and Europe. The Freedom Museum teaches young and old about the real meaning of democracy, freedom and human rights.

Eyewitness Museum – Beek (South-Limburg)

The name says it all: this museum takes you face to face with WWII. The fictive character of August Segel, a German parachutist, guides you to the most important European war zones. 150 lifelike mannequins in original costumes represent a range of scenes from the war. What is really special is that all materials are original. You will also see important objects that are rarely shown to the public.

Zeeland Liberation Museum - Nieuwdorp

The Bevrijdingsmuseum Zeeland (Zeeland Liberation Museum) tells you more about the oft-forgotten Battle of the Scheldt. You will follow the story of young Kees Sinke, who was drafted in 1939 as part of the mobilization. The Zeeland Liberation Park is being built next to the museum. The landscape of Zeeland during the years of war is clearly illustrated on 3 hectares. The emergency church from Ellewoutsdijk, a unique building, was reconstructed here. This building served as a church after the war, after the old church of the village was demolished.

Het Polderhuis Dike and War Museum - Westkapelle

Het Polderhuis with its special exhibitions about the history of Walcheren stands behind the dike in Westkapelle. Special attention is devoted to the war and its destruction. The viewing tower, which is accessible via the museum, is well worth a visit. It shows off the wonderful view of the landscapes and sea in Zeeland.

Watersnoodmuseum - Ouwerkerk

Zeeland was hit by heavy flooding in 1953: the ‘Watersnoodramp’. The holes in dikes were closed with concrete caissons that had been used in the European invasion in 1944. Today they are used as museum space.  

The Camp Vught National Memorial - Vught

This was a concentration camp during the war: Kamp Vught. Today you can visit the National Monument Kamp Vught. The museum contains exhibitions and a commemorative space. Outside, a model shows the size of the camp and you can visit replica barracks and guard towers. The names and ages of the 1,269 Jewish children who were put on the children’s transports in 1943 are engraved in the children’s memorial. The camp was awarded the Dutch Museum Award 2016.

photo: © Ruud Strobbe

Wings of Liberation - Best

The Wings of Liberation tells the story of Operation Market Garden. Original military equipment, installations and photographs  provide an impressive overview of the occupation, repression and eventual liberation.

The Overloon War Museum

The Overloon War Museum is the biggest museum covering the war in Holland. Personal stories explain the troubles the population, as well as the occupying forces, dealt with in WWII. The military hall (some 2 soccer fields in size) contains over 150 vehicles, aircraft and cannons from WWII. It also organizes special military presentations, for instance about German parachutists and aerial bombings. The two-day event Militracks, featuring only German army vehicles, is an annual event in May.

More information about war museums in Holland can be found on the Liberation Route website.

Watch this video: Camp Vught National Memorial

Watch this video: Zeeland Liberation Museum