Many people around the world know about Arnhem because of “the Battle of Arnhem” that was one of the major battles during the Second World War. The fight happened near the four Dutch towns – Arnhem, Wolfheze, Oosterbeek, and Driel – in September 17-26, 1944. The biggest WW2 battle in the Netherlands left Arnhem literally in ruins. Even seven months after the battle, only 1% of houses were good enough to return and live in them. Naturally, such a disastrous event in the history of the city is reflected in the exhibitions of different museums dedicated to WW2. Even nowadays, many people from the United Kingdom and the United States come to Arnhem in September to remember those days or visit the cemeteries.
The Airborne Museum ‘Hartenstein’ is one of the largest museums dedicated to the battle. Its large and diverse collection contains many genuine items of the time, including uniforms and equipment that was used during the Battle of Arnhem. There are many photographs and documental videos about the details of the battle, interviews with soldiers and an interesting perspective of the area from different sides. The museum was closed in 2008 for renovation purposes and reopened in 2009, right in time for the 65th anniversary of the battle.
Oosterbeek Airborne War cemetery is one more memorial of that battle. It’s the place where more than 1,750 Alliance soldiers are buried. They all died during the Battle of Arnhem. Nowadays, it’s a silent place with lots of greenery. Special ceremonies take place only in September when thousands of people come to lay flowers and pay homage.