The Caen Mémorial and the Cuban Missile Crisis

In March 2002, the Caen Mémorial inaugurated its new wings, with full coverage of the history of the whole 20th century. Visitors are first invited to revisit the decades following World War II along new halls and displays dedicated to The World During the Cold War. Further on, they are shown philosophical and historical aspects of Peace as concept.

Exhibits introduce visitors to epochal events, places and men associated with the Cold War. 10 major events have been selected, focussing on tension and détente, especially culminating in the Cuban Missile Crisis display. This part of the exhibition has been developed in close collaboration with Vincent Touze, researcher at the CREALC (Institute for Political Studies of Aix-en-Provence), missile crisis project adviser to the Memorial from 1997, year when he made published for the first time, two of the most important archival documents on the Cuban missile crisis, in the daily “Le Monde”.

Debris salvaged from the crash of the U-2 spy planeWhen 500,000 visitors each year see debris salvaged from the crash of the U-2 spy plane shot down over Cuba on October 27, 1962, they cannot but ponder on what those days meant for the Cuban Republic. For the first time indeed, Cuba has been given a place of its own in a west European museum. These debris were kept in the reserves of the Revolution Museum in the Havana and Vincent Touze, who had learn of their existence, negotiated the acquisition for the Memorial. This acquisition was obtained freely from the Revolution Museum, who really did an exceptional gift to the Memorial.

For the 40th anniversary of the Crisis, the Mémorial felt it natural to invite you to revisit its original on-line exhibition dedicated to those days that shook the world.

The Caen Memorial Press adds its contribution to the world's duty of memory by publishing easily readable digests of those events that shook the 20th century. Now available in the french 2 € Collection:

Cuba 1962 : La crise des missiles
by Vincent TOUZE
"The Cuban Missile Crisis was undoubtedly the climax of the Cold War". The tension between the Soviet Union and The U.S.A. took the world to the brink of WWIII.

Le Mur de Berlin
by Cyril BUFFET
A survey of the history of Berlin from the end of WWII to the present; a history of the Wall, from erection to dismantling.

The 2€ Collection - Éditions du Mémorial de Caen
66 booklets published, 9 of which translated into English
size: 5x7 - 16 pages - Retail Price: 2 €

For orders or inquiries contact the Mémorial bookshop:
or phone +33 231060653