Visit to the MM Park – The World War II Museum in La Wantzenau

by | Updated on 26/10/2023 | Memorial sites, Museum and monuments, Museum and monuments (when it rains), Open on sundays, With kids | 0 comments

mm-park-museum

In La Wantzenau, north of Strasbourg, is one of the largest museums in Europe dedicated to the Second World War. The MM Park is even an essential stop on the tour of the Americans or the British who come to Europe in the footsteps of the conflict. The Museum is however quite unknown to the locals. I take you to discover an impressive collection coupled with an unusual play area.

MM Park: impressive collections from the Second World War

MM Park opened in 2017 in La Wantzenau from the private collection of an enthusiast. Eric Kauffmann has been traveling the world for the past thirty years and has accumulated an impressive collection of objects, vehicles and costumes from the Second World War. On the 7 000 m² of a former printing house, the museum presents today nearly 400 costumes and 120 vehicles of which 60% of the park is rolling!

The visit begins with a large display of weapons from the Second World War. The most remarkable is probably this English De Lisles rifle produced in only 129 pieces. Then the exhibition continues with the costumes. Their diversity is remarkable. We usually find Nazi, American or English uniforms. There are also Soviet, Italian and even Bulgarian outfits! The owner has a special relationship with this country and the room dedicated to Bulgaria was opened by King Simeon II himself. Visitors can then enter a tobruk, a typical German defensive turret, or climb a cannon.

Finally, the Museum has a display case with costumes of prisoners and deportees. It is produced in collaboration with the European Center of Deported Resistance of Struthof.

Jeeps, tanks and even a boat!

The next part of the visit to the museum is in the huge room that contains the military vehicles. Here too the collection is impressive and contains some remarkable remains. This is the case of this small Springer demolition tank right at the entrance of which there are only two examples left in the world. Further on, the imposing 45-ton Russian ISU-152 tank impresses, recognizable by the end of its red-painted gun. Finally, we find the famous “Souffleur II” on which Jean Gabin officiated in the 2ᵉ armored division. It recalls in particular the Zimmer tank which can be seen at the Port du Rhin and which took part with him in the liberation of Strasbourg. Some floats are cut up or still in their juice. A way to see the thickness of the armor or the design of the machines.

The MM Park even manages the feat of having a Kriegsmarine launch anchored in a basin created for the occasion on the inspiration of the submarine bases of the Atlantic Wall. You can then climb into an observation turret. Then back in the lobby, you can hop in a Jeep and see a historical movie.

Vous êtes intéressé par le tourisme de mémoire ? Découvrez notre guide des lieux de mémoire en Alsace!

guide-lieux-memoire-alsace

The Sussex Plan and James Bond-like objects

On the first floor of MM Park, a room is dedicated to the Sussex Plan, a major infiltration operation conceived by General Eisenhower’s General Staff on French territory. The collection is that of Dominique Soulier whose father was a British intelligence officer in this high-risk operation. There are objects worthy of a James Bond such as a small pistol pen, a signet ring with its cache of cyanide pills or a communication encryption station. Here, children can play a little game to understand the world of espionage in the Second World War.

The rest of the floor still features costumes. This will be of more interest to the enthusiast or collector than to the average visitor. There is however an access to a platform with a view on the collection of vehicles.

Jump out of a plane or fly one in the play area

Back downstairs, a turnstile allows us to access the play area. This is really the unusual and original part of this museum. Which can also be debated. Several attractions are offered to children. They can launch themselves from a plane to reach an “obstacle course” by zip line, which is in fact a kind of indoor tree climbing. They can also practice precision shooting or put themselves in the shoes of an airplane pilot inside a simulator. The experience is quite amazing because the machine reproduces all the movements. Beware of loops that will put your head down. The game room also hosts birthday parties and offers a bar with a small catering (hamburger, fries, hot dog, waffles, …). A place to have a coffee while the kids have fun. Or discover this period of history while having fun? I see it more like this.

I liked

  • The richness of the collection is simply impressive and particularly well maintained. I had the opportunity to see tanks maneuvering.
  • It’s a museum you can touch! The interactive aspect is really appreciated.
  • The amusement area will keep the kids entertained while the older ones visit. It is also very popular on Wednesday afternoons and during the vacations.
  • Included in the Alsace Pass

I liked less

  • There is a lack of explanations on the objects and vehicles presented beyond the technical data sheets which we quickly get tired of. A guided or audio-guided tour would be welcome.
  • La Wantzenau is not very easy to reach. Although served by a bus, the visit often requires taking the car.

My photos of the MM Park Museum

Practical information

Schedules and rates

Here you can find the schedules and prices of MM Park.

Access

By car

The address is: 4 Rue Gutenberg, 67610 La Wantzenau. It is necessary to count:

  • 18 kms from Strasbourg (about 20 min)
  • 88 kms from Colmar (about 1h)
  • 129 kms from Mulhouse (about 1h20)
By public transport

By bus with the line 72 that you can take from Place de la RĂ©publique in Strasbourg, for example, direction La Wantzenau and stop “Gutenberg / MM Park”. The stop is served on request. Remember to ask the driver to stop at this stop and report your arrival by bus to the MM Park reception so that they can ask for the return.

Hungry?

If you are hungry, there is a bar with small food in the MM Park.

Thibaut

Thibaut

Blogueur et photographe, Thibaut aime faire découvrir sa ville de Strasbourg, tester des activités autour de chez lui et partir explorer le reste de monde, souvent accompagné par sa petite fille.

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