When the First International Peace Conference in Hague (1899) ended, Jan Gottlieb Bloch, who actively promoted the idea of creating such an event, was not entirely satisfied with its outcome, though three important conventions were passed and a discussion on possible peaceful solutions to international conflicts was initiated. The author of "The Future of War", which showed the absurdities of preparations and warfare in times of considerable advancement of military technique, decided to emphasize his message through visualizations of the ideas contained in his book. He decided to build a museum of war and peace, which was to present tragic consequences of a war on a global scale, which would eventually lead to a social revolution and destruction of the European heritage.
He created a company responsible for the execution of the project and financed most of the costs of the exhibitions. Unfortunately, he did not live to see his work. He died in January 1902. His son, Henryk, took over the company. The Museum was finally opened on the 7th of June 1902 in Lucerne. A few factors were decisive in choosing this particular location. City authorities were acutely interested in opening the museum there, knowing that it would make Lucerne more attractive and increase tourism there. Lucerne is located in Switzerland, a neutral country, known for its pacifist movement and many international organizations devoted to peace and disarmament.
Several notable pacifists were present at the opening ceremony. The museum was located near the railway station in a former shooting hall. A few years later (in 1910) it was relocated to a building on the Museggstrasse, which today houses an educational institution.
Form the very beginning, the exhibitions were a topic of several heated discussions. Due to the simplicity of presentation, they were dominated by military artefacts – cannons, different kinds of guns and sabers and maquettes of fortresses. It was much more difficult to visually present the idea of peace, though the consequences of war were shown on statistical tables, paintings and special dioramas. Despite these efforts, the concept of the museum raised criticism of many pacifists who claimed it did not present enough convincing arguments for maintaining peace. It is possible that the institution lacked a manager with a broader vision, corresponding better to the founder's intentions. Jan Bloch's son, Henryk, did not have the ability to create a proper organizational strategy and a program.
Despite Bloch's predictions, the First World War did break out. Its course validated many conclusions presented in "The Future of War". The Museum, however, lost its impact. Although it formally existed during the war, it practically ceased to operate, and was closed in 1919. But it gave rise to several other peace museums and memory sites. After the Second World War this museum movement became more active; both conflicts clearly proved the validity of Bloch's arguments.
On the hundredth anniversary of the museum an exhibition was opened in Lucerne, covering the goals and the history of the institution. For its most interesting fragments, see: "Exhibition...". It were also presented in the Central Military Library and (partially) in the Museum in Łęczna near Lublin, where Bloch's family estate was located.
Commemorative plaque on the wall of the building where the Museum of War and Peace was located.
It currently houses a school.
The photos of the museum can be seen in the book "Jan Bloch (1836-1902): Capitalist, Pacifist, Philanthropist.

Exhibition - War and Peace Museum in Luzern 2002

The article of Peter Van den Dungen "Preventing catastrophe: The World's First Peace Museum (in Ritsumeikan Journal of International Studies, March 2006)

Elie Ducommun War and Peace Musemu in Luzern world exhibition in Paris Peter van den Dungen (only in FR)