The Belarusian State Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War was the world’s first museum to tell the story of the bloodiest war of the 20th century, and the only one in Belarus created during the years of Nazi occupation.
Today it is one of the most important and biggest war museums in the world, along with the well-stocked museums in Moscow, Kiev, and New Orleans.
…In those terrible years Belarus lost every third resident. More than 3 million people died, including about 50,000 partisans and underground fighters. Throughout the country there were 250 death camps, including the infamous Trostenets, one of the largest after Auschwitz, Majdanek and Treblinka....
The museum has dedicated over 3,000m2 to over 8,000 exhibits that tell the story of the Great Patriotic War. There are about 145,000 rarities in the museum’s storage. They were collected during military operations in Eastern Europe and Germany and were presented by embassies of various countries in time of peace.
The exhibits are divided into 28 collections and showcased in ten themed halls:
- World and the war;
- World before and in the first years of World War II;
- Road of the war;
- Beginning of the Great Patriotic War. Defense in Belarus in summer 1941. The battle of Smolensk. The battle of Moscow of 1941-1942;
- Turning point of the war. The Soviet home front;
- Nazi occupation regime on the territory of Belarus in 1941-1944;
- Partisan movement and anti-fascist underground resistance in Belarus. Participation of Soviet people in European resistance movements of 1941-1945;
- Liberation of Belarus. The defeat of the Nazi Germany, its allies, and the militarist Japan;
- Belarus after the liberation. The years 1944-1950. Memory of the war;
- Heirs of the Great Victory.
The most interesting exhibits include:
- Collection of 27,000 documents (combat reports, orders, diaries, journals of military operations, soldiers’ performance evaluation reports, and others);
Letter of German Sixth Army Commander General Friedrich Paulus of 19 September 1942.
- Collection of drawings (over 3,000 sketches, cartoons, and mini posters) and paintings (around 500 watercolor and pastel paintings);
- Flags of military units and partisan detachments;
- Military uniforms and civilian clothing of the USSR, Germany, Italy, the USA, Czechoslovakia, and France;
- Personal belongings of famous people born in Belarus (Marshals of the Soviet Union Ivan Yakubovsky, Vasily Sokolovsky, Stepan Krasovsky…);
The multimedia technologies used in the design of expositions include a spherical screen, holographic 3D installations, and a fog screen imitating flame.
Museum halls are equipped with self-service kiosks where visitors can look through wartime documents, including the correspondence of marshals, German orders, manuscripts and letters of soldiers, lists enumerating the burned villages and prisoners of concentration camps…
Big LCD screens show unique archive footage and more than 40,000 wartime photos.
This tour can be combined with others on request.