"The National Museum & 'The emergency'." Top 5 Page for this destination National Museum of Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks Tip by sourbugger

The national museum is a disparate organisation, but the main site is dominated by the military and decorative arts collections.

The more 'modern' section of the military collection includes a modern extension which houses various tanks, a couple of planes and some heavy artillery. The Irish army from independence onwards (1923-present) has gained a distinguished reputation in supporting UN peacekeeping work.

In between all the military hardware lies a little section dedicated to Ettie Steinberg. Ettie was the one Irish Jew who perished in the Nazi Genocide during WW2 (or 'the emergency' as it is known in Ireland). It comes as something of a shock when most military museums that cover the area concentrate on the vast numbers involved. It is also somewhat ironic that Ettie is remembered here as 'Dublin's No1 Nazi' ran the National museum in the 1930's. This little Hitler (and almost unbelievably his name was Adolf Mahr ) fled to Germany shortly before the outbreak of war. Some suspect he was a Nazi spy.

The position of the state during WW2 is somewhat glossed over. The official line is that Ireland stayed neutral to avert resurrecting arguments within Ireland about helping the old colonial power of Britain. Others have far less charitable views of the then position of Irish leaders. Churchill certainly saw it as betrayal. Whatever the truth, as many as two-thirds of the Irish army at the outbreak of war signed up to allied forces. Their contribution to the assault on Gallipolli was substantial. Many were also involved in desert campaigns and the D-day landings.

Address: Benburb Street, Dublin 7
Directions: Near to Hueston Station, Buses: 90 Aston Quay, 25,25a,66,67 from Middle Abbey Street. Dart: Tara Street with connecting bus.
Phone: 353 1 677 7444
Website: http://www.museum.ie

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Apr 19, 2009
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