Lucerne, Switzerland –
The centenary of the opening of the world’s first peace museum was commemorated in Lucerne on 6-8 June 2002. The program of events was made possible through the enthusiastic support of Dr Walter Troxler of the Swiss federal army education centre for higher officers (Armee-Ausbildungszentrum Luzern, AAL) and Patrick Deicher, curator of the Bourbaki Panorama, one of Lucerne’s main tourist attractions.
The exhibition entitled ‘War and Peace in the Museum: Jan Bloch and the International War and Peace Museum in Lucerne’ was opened at the Bourbaki Panorama on 7 June. In October the exhibition moved to the AAL until 21 December. Consisting of 24 text and illustration panels in German (the catalogue included a summary in English), the exhibition focused on Jan Bloch and his museum, the historical context for its foundation and contemporary issues including the spread of peace museums and peace education.
The Lucerne Filmclub organised a cycle of 10 war and peace films to accompany the exhibition at the Bourbaki Panorama. The local adult education group LABA also organised a historical city walk to places associated with the Bloch museum, and produced a 56-page illustrated brochure about the history of the museum, entitled ‘Friedenstauben und Krupp-Kanonen: 100 Jahre Internationales Kriegs- und Friedensmuseum Luzern’ (Peace doves and Krupp cannons: 100 years since the International War and Peace Museum in Lucerne).
AAL also hosted an international historical symposium on the museum, involving peace historians from half a dozen countries, including 5 Polish members of the Jean de Bloch Society. Representatives of peace museums, from several European countries and Japan, took part in the concluding roundtable on the diffuculties, role and potential of peace museums today.
Sources and related documents:
INMP Newsletter 15, October 2002: www.museumsforpeace.org/news/newsletters.html
The international museum of war and peace at Lucerne, by Peter van den Dungen
Revue suisse d’histoire, Volume 31 (1981): www.e-periodica.ch/digbib/view?pid=szg-006:1981:31::207#207