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Saving the Reality: A Sacred Mission


The Museum of World War II is a research and educational institution devoted to preserving and exhibiting the reality of World War II. It is the most comprehensive collection of documents and artifacts on display anywhere in the world, with over 7,000 artifacts on display; more than 500,000 documents and photographs are in the research archives.

The Museum’s mission is to preserve the reality of those who fought on home fronts and battle fronts to destroy evil and to make this reality part of today’s education. It is the mission of the Museum to make the lessons of the causes and events of World War II understood, and their relevance to today’s events appreciated. An understanding of the future is found in the history of human events.

The Museum uniquely shows the human story interwoven with the military and political events through all of the artifacts that made up life, from everyday, to the most momentous decisions during the war.

Education, through the Museum's exhibitions and our Education Center, is the fundamental mission in preserving the reality of World War II.


Kenneth W. Rendell, Founder and Director

Dan Aykroyd narrated video documentary
World War II, Saving the Reality
WWII Foundation

FOR YOUR COLLECTION

Politics, War and Personality
Fifty Iconic World War II Documents That Changed the World

Tom Hanks was the inspiration for this book when he said at the premiere of the HBO series The Pacific that "The Museum is the repository for the actual Holy Grail documents of World War II." All fifty iconic documents featured in this book can be found in the Museum, from Adolph Hitler's earliest anti-Semetic rant written on the announcement of the Versailles Treaty to the order to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Throughout the museum the red letter V denotes the letters and documents included in the book. It is also available at book stores and on Amazon for $29.95.

World War II:
Saving the Reality

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 The reality of World War II told through fifty years of collecting artifacts, letters and documents from all areas of the war. This 142-page large-format book, with over 700 illustrations of pieces in the collection is available now at bookstores and Amazon. A DVD documentary about the Museum of World War II, narrated by Dan Aykroyd, is available at Amazon and is broadcast nationwide on PBS.

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PAST SPECIAL EXHIBITIONS

NEWSLETTER

Action

Action This Day is the quarterly newsletter for the Museum, full of WWII facts, updates on our exhibits and other activities. See the Archives for past issues or sign up below to have them sent directly to your email address!

THE MUSEUM IN THE NEWS

This is some of the most recent media coverage on the museum.

From WGBH's Open Studio with Jared Bowen: Museum of World War II and "In the Wake"

From the Boston Globe, Enigma, Wrapped in a Paradox, Inside an Exhibit

From the New York Times, Like Smoldering Sparks, War's Ephemera: A World War II Exhibition at the Grolier Club

 

MUSEUM EXHIBITIONS

Upcoming and Recent Exhibitions of Museum Artifacts at Other Institutions:

  • The Power of Words and Images in a World at War, May - August, 2014 at the Groiler Club, New York City
  • From Barbed Wire to Battlefields: Japanese American Experiences in WWII, March - October, 2014 at the National WWII Museum, New Orleans, LA 
  • Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of James Bond Villains, November, 2012 thru November, 2014 at the International Spy Museum, Washington  
  • OSS:  Spy & Sabotage Equipment,  permanent exhibit at the CIA Museum, Headquarters,  Langley, Virginia (not open to the public)

CURRENT SPECIAL EXHIBITION

ENIGMA EXHIBITION EXTENDED and NEW SPECIAL EXHIBITION

75th Anniversary: The Day the World Changed, May 10, 1940

Hitler Attacks, Churchill Rises From the Ashes of Appeasement

Special Exhibition - May 15 to September 1

A special exhibition featuring letters written by Churchill to the Prime Minister of France as the Allies are evacuating Dunkirk and, within a short time, as France is falling, including one of Churchill’s most significant letters ever about why the British can no longer send troops tohelp as they are needed in England to protect the British who will soon be standing alone.

Also included are German invasion maps of the Low Countries and photographs taken by invading German soldiers. For more information and to schedule a time to visit, please visit our website, www.museumofworldwarii.org or call 508-651-1944.

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THE MOST SECRET TOP SECRET

The German Enigma Code Machines

Special Exhibition - February 14 to June 15

A Special Exhibition of the most comprehensive collection in America, outside of the National Security Agency, of German Enigma code machines from World War II will open at The Museum of World War II on Saturday, February 14th, 2015.

Nine different original code machines, including 1 of 3 known Enigmas with a printer; 1 of 5 known Siemen’s 10-rotor code machines made for the German High Command; and a very rare U-Boat 4-rotor Enigma, virtually unbreakable until Alan Turing’s intuitive genius and the capture of a U-Boat’s code books are on display. Visitors are able to operate an original German Army 3-rotor Enigma, as seen in “The Imitation Game.”

The exhibition includes an original Enigma code sheet from a U-Boat sunk off the East Coast of the U.S. and British code breaking sheets of the final messages of the war. Also in the exhibition: German short wave radios used by the military to transmit Enigma codes (ironically marked: “Warning: the enemy is listening”) and posters, warning that spies are listening and cautioning the Germans about the need for secrecy at all times.

For more information and to schedule a time to visit please visit our website: www.museumofworldwarII.org. The exhibition will run from February 14 to June 15, 2015.