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A family artifact in a shop window

Default Anecdotes
Yanick Strauch finds an object that belonged to his great-grandfather during the Second World War on display in the Bastogne War Museum.

Like many museums, the Bastogne War Museum has several missions. Among them, the conservation and the study of objects that advance research. On a daily basis, the museum shares stories that are sometimes surprising, often moving, symbolic, and always thought-provoking.

Let’s relive an anecdote from the end of summer in 2018. It involves Yanick Strauch, a young researcher of medieval history from the University of Marburg in Germany. He wanted to obtain information about a Nazi Party (NSDAP) map displayed in a window at the Bastogne War Museum. The map had been owned by his great-grandfather. So Yanick Strauch, accompanied by his father and his girlfriend, went to Bastogne to reconstruct a missing piece of their family history.

At the Bastogne War Museum, they met the collector and owner of the object, who decided to give them this unique document. Their visit to the museum allowed them to complete a part of their family history, the story of his great-grandfather Arnold, but also that of his grandfather Robert. The latter also participated in the May 1940 campaign in Belgium.

Even though this object reminds us of a terrible moment in history, it also allows us to contextualize and dig deeper into the story of totalitarianism in Europe from a more human perspective.

Through these exchanges, we better understand why the concept of European solidarity is not only an abstract dream. Furthermore, these stories help establish links and bonds that are necessary to pursue and improve in the future.

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