The Regimes Museum is a non profit 501(c)(3) organization that was founded by Dr. Marc Voss, a scholar of history and German with special attention given to 20th century repressive regimes from all over the world, most notably those that have come and gone in modern day Germany. The co-founder, Brenton Ogden III, is an avid historian and collector. The Regimes Museum was ultimately developed when Dr. Voss and Mr. Ogden combined their efforts and collections in 2013. Although special interest was paid to WWII artifact collecting by the founders in the early years, the effort quickly expanded to include seven regimes that span the 20th century. The founders realized that the phenomenon of tyranny and repression are not unique. Dictatorships are an expression of some of the most extreme forms of power abuse that restrict the freedoms and liberties of the citizens they dominate
and control. Considering the unpleasant nature of tyranny and repressive regimes, the founders knew that for most it is much easier to forget or gloss over the past that so fundamentally affected the lives of all of those who lived through the events and even those younger generations that have inherited the uncomfortable past that shaped the community they live in. The collapse of a regime is often times followed by the removal and destruction of anything and everything that remind individuals of the past they would prefer to forget and move on from. The founders believed that these trends, however, have adverse consequences that impact the present. Preserving, researching, and sharing the history of dictatorships as they really were is a delicate yet significant undertaking that requires authentic artifacts that are presented as they were at the time so as not to glorify their history. With this Museum, the founders wish to set up an educational institution that pieces together the historical mosaic of what life was like for ordinary citizens, the victims of repressive systems, apparatchiks, and the personalities that ran the regimes. The founders wanted to set up an organization that would serve to demystify totalitarian political systems through academic research and investigation and ultimately make it accessible to the public so that future generations may be enlightened and better able to avoid tyranny from coming about again. This is the aim and philosophy that have developed into what is now the Regimes Museum.
The collection started in 2003 with a bloodstained armband and has since grown steadily to include artifacts from regimes and dictatorships from all over the world. The emphasis of the permanent collection focuses on select regimes including Fascist Italy, Imperial Japan, National Socialist Germany, Stalinist Russia and the post-Stalin Soviet Union including the Warsaw Pact allies and the GDR, the Ba'athist Middle East, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. While the efforts of collecting and preserving artifacts from these countries has largely been led and orchestrated by Dr. Voss and Brenton Ogden III, the grass-roots acquisition initiative hopes to expand in the future and broaden its reach and scope. Today, the collection has expanded significantly and the future is open to shape the ever evolving museum and archive into an interdisciplinary educational institution that blends military, political, and cultural history together.