- 44 Rue des Vignerons, 68230 Turckheim, France
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The museum of the liberation of the Colmar Pocket, full of authentic big and small artefacts, tells the story of a dramatic page of Alsatian history during the bitter cold fighting for the Colmar Pocket.
The Memorial museum of the liberation of the Colmar Pocket is the only institution which tells the history of the fierce two-months’ fighting for the liberation of the Colmar Pocket from December 1944 till February 1945.
The museum is set up in the vaulted basement of an 18th century house, the former rectory. In the front yard, a plaque pays tribute to the 28th US Infantry Division which liberated Turckheim on 4 February 1945. Much of the collection of the museum is sourced from the attics and basements of local inhabitants. Other pieces were donated by veterans visiting the museum.
The museum has a wealth of items on display ranging from pistols to a Panzerschreck and a 105mm howitzer, uniforms, helmets, toilet items, newspapers, letters, photos, maps, authentic items such as de Lattre’s kepi etc. Dioramas show soldiers in situ, bringing life to the collection.
The American and French offensive in mid-November 1944 was a success, resulting in liberation of most of Alsace. However, the Germans retained a large bridgehead on the western bank of the Rhine around the city of Colmar, a thorn the side of Allied 6th Army Group.
In the desperate days of June 1940 captain Philippe de Hauteclocque made his way to London and adopted the war-name of “Leclerc”. As a great tactician and outstanding leader, he enjoyed a blistering career. His name and that of his 2nd Armored Division are associated with the liberation of Paris in August 1944.
The historic region of Alsace-Moselle was a contended area between Germany and France. The memorial tells the story of the local inhabitants and their dramatic history during the Second World War.
The Natzweiler Struthof concentration camp operated from April 1941 until September 1944. During this time an estimated 22.000 inmates died to disease, exhaustion, maltreatment or execution by the camp guards. The former camp currently houses a museum and the European centre of deported resistance members.