The Canadian military put most of its efforts into the war in Europe and the Battle of the Atlantic during World War Two, but it did commit assets into South East Asia and the Pacific in a variety of ways. Panels and artifacts are found in this section as the Museum's focus on World War Two nears its end.
This display case includes wreckage and artifacts from a Canadian Dakota transport plane which crashed in Burma during bad weather on the 21st of June, 1945. All six crewmen were killed, and the site itself was only discovered by a local hunter in 1990.
For the Pacific theatre, the war ended with the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The fragment of a roof tile in the display case was on a temple in Hiroshima, and exposed to temperatures in excess of 6000 degrees Celsius for one tenth of a second.
For the Canadian military in Europe, victory came in the Netherlands. The army, supported by air force elements, swept through the country and liberated it from Nazi occupation. This area examines the last months of the war for the Dutch, and the bond between countries that has persisted ever since. For me it's a personal area- my family came from the Netherlands, and both my parents were old enough to have clear memories of the war. The last winter was particularly harsh, called the Hunger Winter, and the stories we were told made it clear- had the war gone on for a few months more, one of them or both of them would have died. So I've always felt very strongly that I owe my existence to Canadian soldiers who freed that country.
A captured Nazi flag with photographs of newspapers and scenes provides the other part of the ending of this section of the Museum.
What lies beyond is a legacy of that war. Artifacts, panels, and photographs are found immediately beyond the end of the World War Two section about the Holocaust. The fate of a family is examined in this panel.
The photographs are haunting and difficult to look at, but necessary to do so, especially in an age where denials of the Holocaust still happen, and where tiki torch toting white supremacists defiantly march on city streets and scream, 'blood and soil' while their cheerleader in chief shrugs. The quote at the top of this shot, in English and French, is from an RCAF officer who saw the death camps and knew that this alone was justification for World War Two. The dress belonged to a survivor of the Holocaust, Helene Garrigues, a French Resistance member who was arrested and sent to Ravensbruck.