Genesis & administration
The building of an historical interpretation centre telling the story of the people of Alsace and Moselle was done at the initiative of Jean Pierre Masseret, then Secretary of State of Former Soldiers and War Victims, and supported by regional elected officials such as Philippe Richert, Alain Ferry and Frederic Bierry. In 1999, Philippe Richert and Jean-Pierre Masseret took a decisive position: the Alsace-Moselle Memorial would be built, and it would be placed in Schirmeck.
Located midway between Strasburg and St-Dié-des-Vosges, Schirmeck is at the crossroads of the Bas-Rhin, Haut-Rhin and Vosges départements. Schirmeck was the site of an internment camp opened by the Nazis in August 1940. Moreover, the site of the Memorial faces Struthof, the former concentration camp, as well as the European Centre of the Deported Resistance Members, located on the other side of the valley. The proximity of the two sites, as well as their complementary tour visits, makes the memorial a must-see on any visit to Alsace.
On 18 June 2005, the Memorial opened its doors to the public. Jacques Chirac, President of the French Republic, inaugurated it on 3 November of the same year. Mixed Syndicate of the Alsace Moselle Memorial, along with Europe, the French State, the Lorraine Region and the General Council of Moselle financed the 10 million euros (excluding tax) necessary for the project.
In 2015, the European Parliament and the Alsace Region wished that the story of European construction also be told at Schirmeck. Much work was done for the remodelling of the Memorial beginning in Summer 2016, and it was closed to the public on 5 December 2016.
The French State, through the Ministry of the Armed Forces, also participated in this work. On 1st October 2017: the moulting period had ended and the new Memorial was presented to the public.
Since January 2000, the Memorial has been managed by a Mixed Syndicate made up of the Grand Est Region, the two Alsatian départements, the grouping of towns of the Bruche Valley and the Town of Schirmeck. Made up of elected officials representing these five groups, the Mixed Syndicate manages the Memorial. Alain Ferry, Mayor of Wisches, honorary deputy, has been the President of the Mixed Syndicate since its creation.