- Heulendonk 21, 9991 Adegem
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Home to an extensive collection of original uniforms, weapons, artefacts, and scale models, the Canada-Poland War Museum is one of the most interesting private institutions preserving memory of the war and liberation of Belgium.
Established in 1995, the Canada-Poland War Museum is a private enterprise established by Mr. Gilbert van Lanschoot to fulfil the promise made to his father, Maurice, who indebted his life to the Canadian and Polish liberators.
The extensive original collections within this small museum include over 70 uniforms, many pieces of original military equipment and weaponry used by Canadian and Polish liberators and German troops who opposed them, including an original Bren-Carrier troop transport. Most of these items are arranged in the main exhibitions in several live-size dioramas, depicting scenes from military life of both sides of the conflict. Apart from original items, a large number of scale models of larger vehicles are on display, likewise arranged in dioramas. The exhibitions illustrate the story of Belgium’s liberation with an impressive number of attractively arranged original objects.
Next to the museum there is a spacious tearoom with ornamental stained glass windows depicting coats of arms of Canadian units that took part in the liberation of Belgium. Outside the building there is a picturesque garden.
The Canada-Poland War Museum established and run by van Landschoot Family is a touching example of private memory of the Liberation, attracting visitors from numerous countries.
In August 1944 the Allies broke out of Normandy. The speed of the allied advance was so great that they outran their supply lines. In early September the advance came to a halt. The Allies desperately needed a large port to supply their troops and the obvious choice was Antwerp.
“For our freedom and yours” – reads the inscription in Polish, French and Flemish. It is carved on the wall of memory, crowned with a six meter tall cross. It is located in the biggest Polish cemetery in Belgium. Those who lie there fought just for that.
In the center of the small town of Beveren there is a bust of general Stanislaw Maczek. It reminds the citizens of the commander of the division which liberated their town and made sure it stayed intact.
On 2 September 1944 allied troops crossed the Belgian border at diverse places. The process of liberation went fast: in ten days a large majority of the country was liberated. But it did not put an end to the German occupation. Two months later Hitler surprised the Allies with his last offensive: the Battle of the Bulge.
The Liberation Museum Zeeland takes us back to a special part of Zeelands history. During the Second World War Allied soldiers, sailors and airmen of various nationalities united in the fight against the German occupation forces. This struggle resulted in a lot of dead and wounded on both sides. The local population in Zeeland also suffered heavy casualties.