Traveling to sites where extraordinary events have occurred can give adventurers an entirely new context and understanding of a moment in history. Here, we’ll discuss the locations relevant to World War II that all travelers can benefit from seeing.
Fodor’sTravel ~ ” Anne Frank House
When she turned 13, Anne Frank received a diary as a gift, which is now one of the most popular books in the world, and shortly after, her family went into hiding from the Nazis. The Diary of a Young Girl is an account of the two years she spent in the cramped secret annex in a house in Amsterdam. The young Jew, her parents, and elder sister, along with four others, were discovered in 1944 and sent to concentration camps. Only Anne’s father, Otto Frank, survived. He published his late daughter’s diary and her dream to become a writer came true. The secret annex now attracts millions of visitors every year. The Anne Frank House opened in 1960 as a museum and has on display Anne’s diary. There are also personal items, like the map Otto Frank had on the wall to track the Allies progress.
British Normandy Memorial
On June 6 of this year, the 77th anniversary of the Normandy landings, the British Normandy Memorial opened. It is dedicated to the 22,442 people who died on D-Day and the ensuing battle under British command. D-Day was the biggest amphibious invasion in history when around 160,000 British, American, Canadian, and other Allied soldiers landed on five beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944. Over the next 77 days, they had total control of Normandy. The victory changed the course of the war and the troops went on to liberate Paris.
There are 160 stone columns with names of the fallen inscribed on them, a bronze sculpture of charging infantrymen, and a monument dedicated to French civilians who lost their lives. The memorial overlooks Gold Beach, one of the landing sites, and cost £30 million to build.
USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor
On December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed the naval base of Pearl Harbor and killed 2,400 people. The USS Arizona exploded and sank, claiming 1,177 sailors who were on it. All in nine minutes. It is still submerged underwater and remains a war grave, a resting place for those Marines who couldn’t be recovered. And decades after the attack, it continues to leak oil.
The USS Arizona War Memorial is built over its remains and is accessible by a boat. Visitors come to see the white arched structure of the memorial and the wall that has inscriptions of those who perished in the attack. Diving in the waters and looking at the wreckage is also possible, but because it’s a revered war grave, divers can’t go inside the ship. You should also take time out to visit the Battleship Missouri Memorial—you can walk on the deck of the battleship USS Missouri, where the official surrender ceremony took place on September 2, 1945. A beginning and an end to the U.S. campaign.” ~ Fodor’sTravel
For the rest of the list of WWII sites travelers should see, click the link below.
**Please note: Due to the impact of COVID-19 on travel, we encourage people to always plan trips in accordance with the guidance provided by government and health officials.