The Imperial War Museums (IWM) consists of five museums throughout the UK, three of which are in London. Founded during WWI, the London Imperial War Museum preserves history by retelling stories of British wars through those who experienced them. Exhibits feature vast collections of artifacts and stories of those impacted by war including those of the Second World War and Holocaust. This museum also features impressive award-winning galleries that are able to move, inspire, and transform its viewers.
In the wake of WWI, Britain’s War Cabinet authorized the creation of a national war museum to document the experiences still occurring in Europe and Britain during the Great War. At the breakout of World War II in 1939, the Imperial War Museum continued its efforts even in the midst of the London bombings, during which curators had to evacuate vulnerable items from the city. That same year in 1939, Great Britain took in close to 50,000 Jews from Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia, many of them children who left their families behind. Today, the museum’s Kindertransport exhibit displays possessions like suitcases, prayer books, dolls, and magazines brought by the children who escaped Europe as well as other artifacts from that tragic period of history.