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Exhibition ‘Him or me. A Canadian and a German’

On 14 February 2020 the exhibition ‘Him or me. A Canadian and a German’ is set to open at the National Military Museum. The exhibition shows two true, deeply personal stories from both a Canadian and a German soldier; reality as seen through the eyes of two actual servicemen.

The battle to liberate the Netherlands was a bitterly fought one. The exhibition ‘Him or me’ portrays this battle from both the Allied and German perspective, through the eyes of two real servicemen. A French-speaking Canadian called Léo Major (1921-2008) from Québec volunteered to join the Canadian Army in 1940. We follow him in his march from Juno Beach, through major battles, to places where he was seriously injured and suffered the loss of his best friend, before courageously entering Zwolle alone.

We also follow Hans Kürten (1925) from Leverkusen, who grew up in a country under Hitler’s rule. He was conscripted in 1943 and was involved in battles near Arnhem in October 1944. Just like Léo, Hans also lost his best friend and was badly injured on several occasions.

In addition to the exhibition ‘Him or me’ which includes exceptional artefacts, the main hall of the NMM, the Arsenal, portrays how the liberation occurred and what this required in logistical terms. Many large vehicles are on display, such as trucks, but also the remarkable German ‘Tiger II’ tank (called Königstiger), the incredibly rare manned V-1, the Canadian ‘Buffalo’ landing craft, the ‘Archer’ tank destroyer and the ‘Wasp’ flamethrower.

Exhibition ‘Him or me. A Canadian and a German’