Tribute is paid to an eminent figure in the World War Two military vehicle collector and museum scene who passed away in early 2023
Born in Bastogne in 1927, Guy FranzArend was 17 years old during the Ardennes Offensive. In 1950, at his own expense and while still a student at the University of Liège, he opened the Nuts Museum in downtown Bastogne, the very first museum in the world devoted to World War Two and the Battle of Bastogne. Anthony McAuliffe, the 101st Airborne Brigadier General, famed for retorting "Nuts!" to a German offer of surrender, was one of the first visitors and provided Guy with the full support of his division.
At that time, only five years after the war, collecting German uniforms, weapons, equipment and vehicles was almost impossible – such objects still being considered distasteful for a population that had suffered so much during occupation. Guy nevertheless sourced his first German uniform of a former member of the Légion SS Wallonie, then later received another unique garment from the very hands of the man who wore it during the Ardennes Offensive: General Hasso von Manteuffel's leather coat.