As I mentioned in my post from this summer (https://wanderingbarbarian.wordpress.com/2013/07/27/last-day-in-plzen/), I went to the Patton Museum. While this might be odd, General George S. Patton was part of a very underrated part of American history-the liberation of Czechslovakia. Before I flew over to the Czech Republic, I read about the museum and was intrigued, so this was one of the places I made sure I went to. Fortunately, it was about a ten minute walk from my hostel (yay for being in the center of the city!), and when I arrived, it was in a nondescript building. The front was very distinctive, as the photo illustrates. When I walked in, the owner greeted me; he was thrilled when I told him I was American.
Inside, the museum itself was small-one could have gone through it in less than half an hour. However, it was an endeavor of love. There was a great little tv clip of the American army fighting the Germans, and listening to American marches was a bit surprising, yet nostalgic. After that, I set about looking at the displays. Given how they were collected by the owner himself, I didn’t expect the quality to be as good as they were. However, he had a ton of dummies with the authentic dresses, replete with their respective weapons.
Having plaques explaining events was fantastic. One reason I was drawn to this museum was for the history lesson, and this did not fail to disappoint. I learned how fast Patton’s army made it to Czechoslovakia, the resistance by the Czechs and the German army, and the diplomacy involved in the aftermath, among other things. Another nifty aspect was the testimonials by the soldiers, especially the foreigners fighting with the US Army.
Finally, as I was on my way out, the owner and I briefly chatted. I told him that I was from the DC area, and his eyes lit up. He told me he traveled with some of his buddies to Arlington National Cemetery and other significant military places. Both of us enjoyed speaking to one another, as I found a Czech keenly interested in American military history and he found me as someone who lives by it. All in all, it was an awesome time at the museum, and I definitely would recommend it to anyone!
Its address is Pobřežní 2220/10, 301 00 Plzeň, Czech Republic and the website is http://www.patton-memorial.cz/en/museum/