Devastated villages, ruined Infrastructures, decaying animal carcasses, fear of plague and live ammunition, missing family members ... in many respects the war dragged on in people's mind even after the failure of the Battle of the Bulge and the final liberation of Luxembourg in February 1945. While the most sinister years of Nazi rule (1940-1944) and the vicious fighting had been overcome, the immediate post-war period generated additional problems, especially in the north and east of the country. More than 180000 homes were damaged, more than 3000 of them resembled only uninhabitable and collapsing ruins. Apart from the 108.000 individuals directly impacted by war-related damage, numerous Luxembourgers remained cut-off from their homeland. Forcibly conscripted prisoners of war in German uniform, inmates of German concentration camps and prisons, political deportees, forced workers in the Reich, war refugees - they all had to find their way home under chaotic circumstances after the final surrender of Nazi Germany on 8 May 1945.
Repatriation - Reconstruction - Renewal. This was the enormous challenge which the Grand-Duchy had to face to provide general supplies, revive its devastated economy and resurrect the ruined villages. By shedding light on private, state sponsored, national and international aid initiatives, without forgetting the problems caused by the reconstruction process, this exhibition aims to contribute to the reappraisal of this subject area, which still remains poorly researched in national historiography.