This exhibition is based on personal stories of English, Polish hand German soldiers and civilians. Who were they? How did they react on the violent events in September ’44 and what were the consequences of this in their further life and in the life of their beloved ones.
48 personal stories
During the battle of Arnhem, Lieutenant John Hollington ‘Jack’ Grayburn was in command of the second platoon, A-Company, 2nd battalion of the Parachute Regisment. On 17 September his battalion, as one of the few, succeeded to reach the Rhine bridge. Heavy fighting followed, on 20 September he got mortually wounded. He left a wife and a one year old son behind.
Wedding picture of Marcelle and John Jack Grayburn
In 1945 John Hollington ‘Jack’ Grayburnn was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his brave and determined action. His story is one of the 48 personal stories from the exhibition 'EGO. Remember me' in the Airborne Museum 'Hartenstein' - from 2 September 2016 till 31 December 2017.
The human individual
Unique to this exhibition ‘EGO. Remember me’ is the focus on the human individual, the 'me' (ego) and not the military operation. No nationality is eschewed. Stories of both German and allied soldiers, civilians, members of the resistance, men, women, children and even animals make up the exhibition. Personal stories of the preparations to the fight, the Battle of Arnhem itself and the aftermath are the basis of this impressive exhibition.
In the exhibition new stories with unique showpieces are presented. One of these objects is the Victoria Cross of John Hollington ‘Jack’ Grayburn. After the Battle of Arnhem only five have been awarded. Also shown are personal belongings of wing-commander Richard Des Voeux of the 156 Battalion. Richard was killed in action on 20 September 1944 in the woods around Oosterbeek. In the exhibition objects from his field grave, as well as the parachute in which his body was buried, are shown. He was later buried on the Airborne Cemetery.
Richard Des Voeux
Also John Grayburn jr., the son of the killed John Hollington ‘Jack’ Grayburn, tells about his life.
In 'EGO. Remember me' also children can discover many things. It is typically an exhibition with a smile and a tear. Such as the story about the brave pigeon William of Orange that was sent back to England with an urgent message from Arnhem. A special educational program was developed for children. Based on the game 'Who is this' they learn everything about the characters from 'EGO. Remember me'. The exhibition has been included in the educational programs for elementary and secundary schools.
Stories essential to identify current time
Recent research, amongst others by the Dutch TNS NIPO, shows the general public's increasing interest in the Second World War. Stories from this war are considered to be relevant and indispensable to identify the current time. However, the generation that lived through this war is about to disappear. Therefore, there is a need to capture the stories that have never been told before in order to be able to show them to the public. With this exhibition the museum would also like to stress the fact that in other countries the second world war is commemorated in a different way – from the unique story to an ambiguous history.
The exhibition ' EGO. Remember me ' - until 31 December 2017 in the Airborne Museum ' Hartenstein '.