In the years after Operation Market Garden multiple museums, memorials and other reminders of the battle could be found in the area of Arnhem and Nijmegen.
One of the lesser known museums is the Arnhem War museum 40-45 in Schaarsbergen, or the Arnhem Oorlogmuseum 40-45 in Dutch.
It is a private collection and it all started when the owner at the age of 7 of 9 got hold of some military objects left behind during Market Garden. He started collecting all he could get from the Battle.
In May 1994 the museum, a private collection, opened their doors for the public in a former school in Schaarsbergen, a town next to Arnhem.
Even today he is active in collecting pieces of history related to Market Garden. It seems the museum got hold of a Flak gun, check out the website for more information.
The former school is packet with all kinds of artefact. A PAK40 and a T34-85 in the front lawn, some parts of tanks, wheels, chains, a Sherman Firefly 17 pounder barrel in the backyard. Together with an Opel blitz a Staff car and on the side of the building some other guns and 2cm flak pieces.
Inside the museum there are lots of costumes, weaponry, gear and items used by both armies and civilians during the war.
The museum is managed by enthusiastic volunteers, they show you around the museum and tell you all about the items and history of Arnhem and market Garden.
They show you around and tell you all about Operation Market Garden and what happened with Arnhem in the aftermath. Arnhem was evacuated after the Market Garden, only a handful of citizens were allowed to stay in the ghost town. In the last months of the war the German army plundered the city in search of materials for their war machine and other valuables. They destroyed what everything else and left a devastated city in their wake.
The museum took the Polar Bear sign from the 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division which liberated Arnhem in April 1945 during Operation Anger.
The museum proclaims to houses some unique artefacts. They have the leather coat worn by Joachim Peiper, which led the Peiper Group into Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge and who was responsible for the Malmedy massacre. A bench from one the residences of Adolf Hitler together with a small painting from Adolf Hitler himself.
They have a public relation gift from the second World War; a pencil with the Horst Wessel song printed on it. This item is still forbidden in Germany.
The museum is beautiful, with lots of items and the volunteers help the history come to live.
A visit will cost you two hours to 3 hours and it is more than worth the few euros they charge at the entrance.