The Hürtgenwald was a forested area beyond the Siegfried Line, or Westwall, in Germany close to the city of Aachen. It was fought over in November 1944 as American troops fought their way through the area. Ernest Hemingway, who reported on the battle, called it “Passchendaele with tree-bursts”.
The Hürtgenwald Museum is a private museum organised by local collectors and WW2 enthusiasts. It is housed in a wooden building in the village of Vossenack, which from the outside does not look that impressive. However, once inside it is clear this is an excellent and well thought out museum.
There are displays of artefacts, uniforms and equipment, along with useful maps and photographs of the fighting in the area in 1944. There are several dioramas showing mine clearance post-war, German heavy weapons and an American mortar position. Part of the museum is also dedicated to the Westwall or Siegfried LIne. There is a small bookshop and information centre, with good, clean toilets.
This is an excellent local museum covering an important battle and if you plan to visit the area this should be your first stop. The museum is open every Sunday in the main season but can open by appointment.
The museum has a website: www.museum-huertgenwald.de.