Sunday, January 16, 2011

War and Peace

NNNEEEEAAAAOOWWW. That's a plane noise. 

I last went to the Imperial War Museum when I was 14 on a school trip and it's always been on my list of places to return to since. I was really taken with the exhibits on display back then, particularly the Blitz and Trench "experiences" - for a kid with an extremely vivid imagination it was a fantastic way of bringing the dusty history books from school to life.

So this weekend I finally went back. I remember the atrium with the wartime planes hanging from the rafters being impressive back then, and that certainly hasn't changed. But the main thing I really wanted to see on this visit was the Holocaust Exhibition.

It was certainly not easy viewing, and I have no pictures of that exhibit as it just didn't feel appropriate, its such an emotive and horrific subject, but I would very definitely recommend it. One of the most horrific things for me is how the Nazi beliefs became so widespread and more and more extreme in such a relatively short amount of time, to be able to get that many people think and believe or at the very least accept that this was the right thing to do sends shivers down my spine.

So, on a lighter note (if there is such a thing in war), I found the rest of museum really really super geek-fest interesting. From the mock-up of a war time house to the sweets and toys on display from that era - I don't know what it is about that period (30s/40s) but I can't get enough of it at the moment! The politics, the fashion, and what it was like to live during that time. It's still within living memory but seems so alien to my generation as we haven't had to cope with anything remotely like that.

The perseverance of the human spirit through the most awful atrocities of war was the biggest theme I saw running through the tales that the artefacts had to tell. And that is what makes me smile. That and this poster:

Roger that


Anonymous said...

I've never been but it seems like such an interesting place to go...

I love museums :).


Little Lj said...

It is so interesting.. definitely go!

Hannah said...

I remember going to that museum with school to see an exhibition of the bunkers. it was really interesting but also haunting because so many terrible things happened! When I went inter railing in 2009 I went to Krakow and visited Auschwitz. It was extremely fascinating but horrific and I didn't really want to take any pictures. I think it's important that we visit places like this no matter how upsetting because there have been so many genocide tragedies in the last century that we really don't want to see repeated!!

Hannah xx

Little Lj said...

Hannah, COMPLETELY agree. Auschwitz must have been such an experience to visit now...

Thanks for stopping by! x