About the Museum
Regimes Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational institution dedicated to the study and prevention of tyranny. It is the culmination of an effort to collect, preserve, and archive material and artifacts from some of the most notorious regimes of the twentieth century. It offers resources to scholars and students while applying lessons of the past to the present.
“Freedom can exist only in the society of knowledge. Without learning [...] liberty can be neither equal nor universal.”
Benjamin Rush, 18th century
The goal of our ever-growing collection is to preserve the cultural, political, social, and personal artifacts and histories of individuals who were witnesses to some of the most notorious regimes of the twentieth century. Our collections focus on what life was like for both victims and ordinary citizens; we study all aspects of these regimes, from personal histories to cultural aspects to political and military structures.
Through our archive, educational materials, oral history program, community outreach, and ongoing research, we hope to broaden the understanding of the nature of repressive regimes in the various forms, cultures, and nations they existed in. The repression, suffering, and destruction caused by rogue governments are a persistent and repeating phenomenon that can be seen throughout history. We hope to help break this cycle, paving the way to a kinder world.
Our goals include:
Learning and educating about the phenomenon of tyranny and dictatorship across history and culture.
Shedding light on the crimes of rogue regimes, genocide, wars, human rights issues, and more.
Studying these topics from an interdisciplinary lens.
Developing and making publicly accessible a unique archive of the world's worst totalitarian systems.
Preventing human rights violations through democide and repression.
The idea for starting what would become the Regimes Museum began with a bloodstained armband from one of the most notorious regimes in history. Fueled by a passion for learning anything and everything about World War II, Dr. Marc T. Voss began collecting artifacts in 2003 in an effort to not just read about war stories, but to delve deeper and examine the material culture that made up that era in history. Dr. Voss later expanded his collection's focus to include authoritarian and totalitarian dictatorships from the World Wars, the Cold War, and those that survived into the 21st century.
As the research and quest for archival artifacts expanded, it became evident that dictatorships were a common phenomenon across the globe and throughout history. This realization ultimately led to questions around why we, as human beings in a well-connected world with the finest technological innovations, still have dictatorships and tyranny.
By the end of 2013, Dr. Voss had teamed up with a core group of early supporters to start what would become the education-based nonprofit organization called Regimes Museum, in hopes of spreading awareness about these important issues.
Since then, Regimes Museum has developed not only an archive, but also an oral history program, publishing house, academic journal, educational programming, online content, and more. It frequently organizes travelling and popup exhibitions, guest lectures, school and university visits, and community events, as well as continuing to conduct research, eyewitness interviews, and more. As we search for a permanent location to house this institution, we will continue to serve the community both virtually and throughout our broader local area.
The founder, staff, and volunteers of Regimes Museum share the desire to seek truth and help spread awareness about these important issues. We are an apolitical organization, united by a common goal of making the world a safer, fairer, and more peaceful place for all its residents.
What is Regimes Museum and why do you study tyranny?The Regimes Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides resources to scholars, students, and the general public through exhibitions, conferences, and a wide array of learning programs. The museum is the culmination of an effort to collect, preserve, and archive stories, material, and artifacts from a selection of the most notorious regimes of the 20th century. It is both a museum and an educational institution that offers resources to scholars and students with an emphasis on preserving the memories of those who lived under a culture of tyranny and repression and to preserve this history for future generations to interpret and learn from. Much like a Holocaust museum, the Regimes Museum researches and explores topics related to state sponsored terror, war, genocide, democide, and human rights issues in order to enlighten the public and help prevent these events from coming about again in the present and future. The phenomenon of tyranny and repression are common throughout recorded history. Philosophers and enlightened thinkers past and present have written extensively about the issue of authoritarian and totalitarian power structures and their impact on the human domain. With every interview, object, and scholarly research, the Regimes Museum hopes to expand our understanding of tyranny and dictatorship in both the macro historical perspective while simultaneously revealing and preserving for future study and analysis the lives of individuals who experienced the past first hand. Our programs, exhibitions, and research, therefore, aim to enlighten the public on a very important topic.
Do you support [insert dictatorship here]?Absolutely not. The reason we study these societies is to understand them, and prevent similar atrocities from happening again. We support freedom, integrity, and human rights. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions.
Do you accept donations? Are they tax-deductible?As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, Regimes Museum gratefully accepts tax-deductible donations. Any funds or materials donated to the museum will be used to further our mission of spreading awareness of these issues. For more information, visit our Support page!
Where is the museum located?Our administrative offices are located in Orange County, CA. We currently provide free exhibitions and public educational programming (both virtual and in-person) to institutions across Southern California as well as worldwide via our website and social media. The museum is currently looking for a permanent exhibition space so that the collection can be made accessible to the public. In the meantime, many of our items can be seen in the virtual collection. If you would like to know more about the collection or schedule an event, please contact us.
How can I get involved?There are many ways you can contribute to our mission! To name just a few: Educators can request a guest lecture, pop-up exhibition, and/or interactive learning experience for your class(es). These are available for middle, high, and upper education-level classes, and will be tailored to your specific needs. Scholars/researchers can submit articles to our quarterly journal, Regimes Museum Journal, and/or our blog. Longer manuscripts can be submitted to our publishing house, RM Press. We are always looking for eyewitnesses to contribute their stories to our Oral History program. Everyone can attend our public programming! Check the Events page for more information. If you are interested in volunteering for the museum, please don't hesitate to reach out!
Are you a nonprofit?Yes. Regimes Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to education and prevention of human rights issues. Our team is currently 100% volunteers, and all donations are used to further our educational mission. Our annual filings and other IRS documents are available for public viewing.
Preserving Material Culture
Regimes Museum has a collection of over 3,000 artifacts from dictatorships across the globe. The main societies we study include the Soviet Union, North Korea, Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, the German Democratic Republic, Fascist Italy, Communist China, and the Baathist Middle East. We also have an Expanded Focus section, which contains artifacts from other totalitarian societies. Regimes Museum regularly curates exhibitions of our materials, which can be viewed at schools, libraries, and other venues across Southern California.
Meet the Team
Dr. Marc T. Voss
Founder & Executive Director
Dr. Marc T. Voss is the Founder and Executive Director of the Regimes Museum. He received a double Bachelor’s in History and German while simultaneously completing his Master’s in Germanic Languages at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has an interdisciplinary Doctorate in History from the Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg. He works as a lecturer at Chapman University and has published several books and articles on dictatorships, totalitarianism, National Socialism, the Holocaust, East Germany, and related topics. He has consulted for and appeared in media productions from short films to network television programs and has developed and curated exhibitions that have been featured in The Wall Street Journal and other news outlets.
Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Elliott lived in North Carolina for 17 years, graduating from Appalachian State University with a bachelor's degree in English Secondary Education and a minor in TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language). He taught high school for 4 years before moving to California where he teaches at a span school in Long Beach. Although he teaches ELA, Elliott is passionate about Holocaust education and participates in outreach efforts on behalf of the NC Council of the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum located in Washington DC, and the LA Museum of the Holocaust. Elliott is a grammar nerd and loves cats.
Andy To is an educator and historian. He holds a degree from California State University, Fullerton, and currently teaches in Orange County. Mr. To contributes to the RM Podcast project.
Ralph Pickard is a Cold War veteran, published author and analyst for the U.S. DoD intelligence community. He has authored three well received books titled STASI Decorations and Memorabilia Volumes I, II, and III as well as a number of noteworthy combined history and artifact articles related to both the MfS (STASI) and KGB. In addition to acquiring an extensive MfS collection, he has broadened his collection and research efforts to include the KGB during the Cold War era. His analysis of history and memorabilia of the KGB and MfS provides insight into how closely these two organizations and other foreign colleagues assisted and worked with each other throughout the Cold War.
Heather Moore is a musicologist, lecturer, and professional pianist. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in Historical Musicology at the University of Southern California, and holds additional degrees in Music History & Literature, Piano Pedagogy, and Piano Performance. Ms. Moore's research focuses on the intersections between music and politics in twentieth century Germany, and, specifically, the popular music of the German Democratic Republic. In addition to her position as President of the Board, she is the Director of Projects and Events, and has served on multiple occasions as an editor and contributor to the RM Journal.
Todd Anton has been a U.S. History instructor for nearly 30 years, and has earned national recognition for an extensive oral history collection (nearly 5,000) involving combat veterans from WWI through the present. As a result of his nomination as VFW “Teacher of the Year”, legendary author/historian Dr. Stephen E. Ambrose took Todd under his wing and encouraged him to achieve even more. Anton serves on the board of Trustees for the late Dr. Ambrose's National World War II Museum, and has also served as the Divisional Historian for his late father's World War II unit, the 70th Infantry Division-Trailblazers. Anton additionally experienced first-hand the overpowering nature of the GDR system by his brief time in East German custody in 1987 East Berlin. Anton's books include No Greater Love, When Baseball Went to War, and Distant Thunder: The Field Artillery units of the 70th Infantry Division in World War II. Mr. Anton assists with Educational Programming and Fundraising.
Joel Forman has worked in engineering, appraisal, education, and military services. He is an expert on neumismatics and currency, and has published articles in numerous journals on the topic.
Individuals who are helping us grow
Douglas Westfall Stephen Kooshian Ana Catarina Pinho Ralph Pickard Dr. Julien Reitzenstein, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
Dr. Sam Ford
Sam Ford holds a Masters degree in Computational and Data Sciences and currently teaches a variety of university-level mathematics courses.
Ryan Fabre holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science, as well as a minor in Holocaust History, from Chapman University. His area of expertise is World War II and the Cold War. Mr. Fabre is an RM Journal contributor, and is part of the RM Podcast team. Outside of academia, he plays collegiate tennis and enjoys going to the gym.
Bradford Betz is a journalist, writer and editor based in Southern California. He holds a degree from California State University, Fullerton and is spearheading the Regimes Museum podcast.