With this website and the museum the association ‘The House of 40-45’ wants to open up a World War Two collection. This collection will show how daily life in Flanders was affected by the invasion, occupation and liberation. These topics are approached and discussed in an objective way.
The material objects, and the stories linked to them, are the silent witnesses of an era that should not become forgotten. By giving an authentic picture of Flanders during this period, we will attempt to preserve part of our Flemish heritage. Preserving this heritage is a first step, opening it up is a second, hence this initiative.
We are often asked: why the Second World War? During this period nothing much happened here. While it is true that this war did not bring the scale of destruction that the First World War did, the impact of the Second War should not be underestimated. The War years left their mark on our region as much as on the whole world. The War determined the further course of the 20th Century. Rather than focusing on the complex history of the War itself, we will tell the stories of those who experienced it through their personal testimonies. For them it was a milestone in their lives. Often they made decisive choices that greatly influenced their and our future.
It is the intention that people pause for a moment and consider what living a war, an occupation and oppression meant (and still means). If we can bring this about in our visitors, we will have succeeded.