Germany inaugurates refurbished Military History Museum
Oct 14, 2011, 11:16 GMT
Dresden, Germany - German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere inaugurated Friday the country's refurbished Military History Museum, a major new visitor destination in the eastern city of Dresden.
Among the ancient weapons, retired tanks, fading uniforms and battlefield souvenirs at the vast site is a German Army field car blown up recently by a Taliban roadside bomb in Afghanistan.
The museum shut seven years ago for remodelling that cost 62.5 million euros (85 million dollars). It will be open to the public from Saturday. It will also be used by the forces to educate personnel.
De Maiziere told top brass and celebrities at the opening that the museum was not about technology, but about human beings, why they employed force and how to keep force in check. Visitors would be encouraged to reflect on the high price extracted by war.
The revised exhibition had a focus on the causes in society of war and the 'appalling lack of restraint' that happened in many wars.
Visitors would be asked to consider if limited force could ethically be used to prevent worse violence. 'These questions about the legitimacy of military force are highly contemporary,' he said.
The museum reflects Germany's ambivalence about its military traditions that include both atrocities in the Second World War and esteem for the German military philosopher Carl von Clausewitz, whose 1832 book, On War, is still read worldwide.
The book is on display in the building's entrance area.
The museum joins the opulent royal palaces, major art collections and reconstructed city that have made Dresden one of Germany's major destinations for international tourists.
But there has been media debate about whether the museum is suitable for families after the makeover, since shock exhibits at the museum, designed to show the horrors of war, may upset children.