The Second World War, the most terrifying conflict in the history of the human race, caused the death of approximately 60 million persons, half of them civilians. The violence directed against civilians is in effect one of the characteristics of this war, be it through massive aerial bombardments on urban centers, the all-out war in the East, the greatest genocide in world history and the use of the atomic bomb for the first time at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
A large space in the Mémorial de Caen Museum is dedicated to the varied individual experiences of men and women confronted with this war: rationing, occupation, participation in the war effort, life under aerial attack and direct combat. Another space tells the story of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. The exhibitions at the museum, in constant evolution since its creation, permit the visitor to experience the Second World War in all its complexity and scope. It prompts us to ask ourselves questions about this rapidly fading past that nevertheless is still close and familiar, and certainly very relevant, as it profoundly changed the face of Europe and the world.
The Mémorial de Caen Museum is situated on the spot where the underground command post of the 716th German Infantry Division was located. In 1944 this Division was responsible for the defence of the coastal sector north of Caen. The command post, 70 metres long and 5 metres wide, was restored in the autumn of 2013. Besides a display of the German defences in the Caen area, it shows aspects of life under German occupation.