The Juno Beach Centre, discovery of the places’ memory

By junobeach.org | Published on May 20, 2014
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The Juno Beach Centre, discovery of the places’ memory Voie des Français Libres 14470 Courseulles-sur-Mer fr

Located on one of the most famous Normandy’s beaches, the Juno Beach Centre owes its name to the codes used by the Canadians Allies to mention the beach where the will land. The museum deals with the role of Canada throughout the entire Second World War.

As part of the 70th anniversary of the Landing and the Battle of Normandy, the Juno Beach Centre organized a special program which will allow you to reach the French coastline with a more historical view.

Outside guided tour

The guided tour gives local context specific to Courseulles and the Battle of Normandy, and complements the visit of the museum. It lasts 45 minutes.

The Juno Beach Centre’s Canadian guides have conducted guided tours of Juno Park, leading visitors through the remains of the Atlantic Wall, recounting the history of the D-Day Landings, and the remains of the bunker, located in front of the Juno Beach Centre. This bunker was a German observation post that was part of the Atlantic Wall defense system. In 1944, it contained radio equipment that allowed its occupants to communicate with other bunkers and coordinate the defense of the beach. It is a great example of the German strategy to fortify the port of Courseulles.

Beginning April 1st, 2014 – guided tours include visiting the tunnels that lead to the underground Command Post of the 6th Company, 736th Infantry Regiment of Hauptmann Grote which controlled the site in 1944. The German Command Post was originally connected to the observation bunker by a covered tunnel.

This joint initiative by the Town of Courseulles sur-Mer and the Juno Beach Centre received the label “70th Anniversary of the Battle of Normandy” awarded by Région Basse-Normandie, indicating its significance to the 2014 commemorations.

Temporary exhibit

"Grandma, what was it like during the war?"

This exhibit, conceived and created by the Juno Beach Centre especially for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings, tells the story of Norman and Canadian civilians (specifically children) from 1940 to 1944. The intention is that the exhibition can serve as a way to establish dialogue between generations.

The exhibit answers the questions: “What would my everyday life have been like if I was a kid living in Normandy in 1944, like my great grandparents?”; “Who did the Canadians liberate when they landed in Normandy?”; “Who were the occupiers?” Children will be enlightened as to what their great-grandparents would have endured during the war, as well as the meaning of “Liberation”.

Through 5 small modules that evoke familiar places (a classroom, a family kitchen, the staircase of a home and a scene of ruins). The 5 spaces allow a glimpse at the major worries of this difficult time period. For Normans: going without, forced labour, working in Germany, fear, the black market, curfews… For Canadians: worrying, listening to the radio, reading the newspaper, propaganda, rationing, recycling, being separated from family members, waiting…

Every element is adapted for young visitors. The subjects are simplified to preserve the vantage point of a child on events over which they had no control over, but to which they were required to constantly adapt. More developed content enable adults to explain the stations to children as needed.

“I was born June 9th, 1944 and have two sisters who are 7 years older than me and experienced this war, and told me their stories. This exhibition is very moving for me and it describes what my sisters have shared with me. Today, my sisters are 76 and 77 years old, and they remember this war like it was yesterday.”
A. Moise, France

“Excellent exhibition-exactly as my mother described her life as a young girl in WWII!”
Leslie Keily, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Things to see

Point of interest