One of the group’s most ambitious projects to date, the new galleries are three times the size of IWM’s First World War Galleries, which opened in 2014.
IWM London will be the world’s first museum to include dedicated Second World War Galleries and Holocaust Galleries under one roof.
“It has never been more important to learn about the Second World War and the Holocaust and to understand this defining period of the 20th century, which dramatically shaped the world we live in today,” said Diane Lees, director-general of IWM.
“IWM will ensure that the experiences of those generations are never forgotten through our incredible new galleries, which have been almost seven years in the making,” added Lees.
IWM London galleries open October 20
“This has been one of IWM’s most ambitious projects to date, and we are very much looking forward to sharing the fascinating stories that these galleries will tell when we open their doors in October.”
In addition, IWM is publishing two new books titled Total War: A People’s History of the Second World War and The Holocaust, and is organising a Holocaust Learning Programme.
The Second World War Galleries include more than 1,500 items and stories from more than 80 countries, exploring the experiences of those affected.
The galleries boast unseen objects, untold stories and unheard voices, including a deconstructed 1940s house that showcases the devastating impact of the Blitz.
Objects, stories and voices on display at IWM
The Holocaust Galleries will tell the stories of some of the six million Jewish people murdered in the Holocaust through more than 2,000 photos, books, artworks and letters, as well as jewellery, clothing and toys.
For the first time in the UK, a section of a concentration camp barrack, likely the last remaining part of Velten, is going on display at IWM London.
Both galleries are nearing completion ahead of opening on October 20, 2021. They will be joined by new digitally-enabled learning and event suites.
Last year, IWM launched an innovation hub called IWM Institute, offering discussions, podcasts, debates, and original research projects.