Address for your GPS:
76887 Bad Bergzabern
Inside Germany: 015 20 - 965 906 3
From outside Germany: +49 15 2 - 596 590 63
We open on Good Friday until October 31st every 2nd and 4th Sunday per month and on national holidays, beside Easter sunday.
Opening hours: 1100 to 1700
Explore the last two surviving original WWII Siegfried Line Bunkers.
As Hitlers plans were to attack the Soviet Union his engineers were given the task to secure the western flank of Germany with a line of fortifications. The Bunkers and Pillboxes were built opposit the Dutch, Belgian, Luxembourg and French borders running down to the swiss border (About 390 miles). Between 16.000 and 18.000 Bunker were built, there is no exact number, as documents were destroyed in the war and after 1945 many Bunkers were destroyed without beeing recorded. The Siegfried Line was to prevent an Allied attack in 1939/40 useless after the occupation of France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Denmark and Norway in 1940. After the D-Days in Normandy and southern France it was the arrival of the US seventh Army in the Alsace and opposite the Siegfried in our area, late 1944 the Line was reequipped and rearmed to stop American and French Divisions from entering Germany. The first attack on the Bunkers was around the 16th December 1944. These attacks came to a halt when the battle of the bulge started. In March 1945 the 103rd, the 14th AD and 36th Texas Division broke through it. Fter 4 days of intense fighting the Line was broken and the Rhine river wass reached on March the 25th 1945. More here: http://texasmilitaryforcesmuseum.org
One Bunker documents the history of the Siegfried Line and shows some interesting original artefacts of the long gone bunkers and the soldiers that lived inside them.
The other Bunker is fully equipped as it looked in WWII and houses an original 105mm field artillery piece.
Use the Siegfried Line Museum at Bad Bergzabern to see "the other side of the fence", the famous Maginot Line.
We recommend that you visit the Maginot Line Schoenenbourg Fort just about 30 min south of us.
A day trip like this gives you a good idea about how these two defensive constructions used to be in 1939/1940.
A forgotten Hero
When planning your trip from our museum to the Maginot Line in France.
You might consider to to drive a few extra miles to find the location where
Charles L. Thomas fought in December of 1944.
He fought for the liberation of France.
On December 14, 1944, Thomas led a task force storming Climbach, consisting of a platoon from the 756th Tank Battalion and a reinforced company of the 411th Infantry Regiment, 103rd Infantry Division, led by a platoon of his tank destroyers. Approaching Climbach, Thomas' armored scout car was knocked out by enemy fire and he was wounded.
The lieutenant helped his crew out of the vehicle, but as he left the car's protection, he was again wounded in the chest, legs and arms. Despite his wounds, Thomas directed the dispersal and emplacement of the anti-tank guns, which then returned fire and covered the attempt by the rest of the task force to outflank the defenders. He briefed one of his platoon leaders, a junior lieutenant, on the general situation, and only when he was sure the situation was under control did he allow himself to be evacuated. The platoon continued to fight for four hours, losing two of its four guns and half its men as casualties (3 dead, 17 wounded).
The strong performance of the platoon ensured the capture of the town and forced the defenders to withdraw to the Siegfried Line; the unit was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation (the first black combat unit, and the first unit attached to the 103rd Division, to be so honored) and its men received four Silver Stars and nine Bronze Stars. Thomas himself was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his part in the engagement, and returned home a hero, though he played down his role – "I know I was sent out to locate and draw the enemy fire, but I didn't mean to draw that much."
Thomas remained in the Army, and retired with the rank of Major. In the 1990s, following a study which indicated severe racial discrimination in the process of awarding medals during the war, it was recommended that seven Distinguished Service Crosses be upgraded to Medals of Honor, and Thomas was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously on January 13, 1997.