IJsfontein Homepage
Leopoldsburg: a historic garrison town in Belgium, where the Second World War left deep traces. For instance, Leopoldsburg was the starting point of ‘Operation Market Garden’; one of the most ambitious military operations of World War II. The new Liberation Garden museum in Leopoldsburg takes you into this important story: about the price of freedom, democracy and peace. It is up to us to bring this story close to the skin of visitors. Making the past tangible, how do you do that?

By making it small. Intimate. By focusing not on the battle itself but on the people in that battle. By zooming in on emotions; emotions that are inseparable from the war, but recognisable to everyone. Tension, fear, uncertainty, sadness, despair… Using emotion as a connector, we put visitors in touch with the past.

Literally. In one of the five interactives we developed, visitors meet individuals from the war. Ordinary people in extraordinary situations. By touching them – laying a hand on their projection on the wall – they bring these persons to life and hear their story. For example: a resistance fighter talks about how exciting it was to smuggle provisions for people in hiding. A young SS officer talks about his reasons for joining the SS. A Red Cross nurse tells what it was like to care for Germans. In short: various stories from different perspectives. 

We also developed four other interactives, which immerse you in the war. Take cover during the bombardment of Camp Beverlo. Imagine being part of Operation Market Garden in a 3D film in which Horrocks calls his men to the military operation. Experience the excitement of Hells Highway: the gunshots of the Germans, passing tanks, icy screams… And fly along in a Spitfire over the Sigried Line with VR glasses. Experience Operation Plunder and Varsity and witness a war-ravaged Europe from the air. 

‘An important place, where the memory of World War 2 is transmitted to new generations.’

Liberation Garden offers no set messages or answers, but challenges visitors to test their own views against what is offered. It shows that history is never just a black-and-white story, but a complex story full of shades and nuances, full of shades of grey. In doing so, the museum literally and figuratively brings visitors in touch with history.