The city of Saint-Raphaël joins the LRE Foundation Network

The LRE Foundation is glad to announce that the city of Saint-Raphaël, France, has joined its network of members. The signature of the membership agreement in Summer 2021 allows for the development of new projects in Saint-Raphaël and Provence, known for the Allied landings on 15 August 1944.

The membership agreement with Saint-Raphaël stems from the city’s desire to value the local heritage related to the Provence landings by highlighting local commemoration sites and events such as the Nécropole Nationale de Boulouris, where the remains of 464 French 1st army soldiers of all origins and confessions lie. The LRE Foundation and the city of Saint-Raphaël share the same ambition to keep making the history of the Second World War relevant and accessible, especially to the younger generations.  

“Liberation Route Europe is a great project that matches with our ‘Saint-Raphaël City of Memory’ ambition. It is important to identify sites that account for the crossing of French and Allied troops during the Provence landings. The Foundation wishes to work with cities serving as contacts and referents to carry out the projects of valorisation and the duty of remembrance and remembrance tourism, and this is what Saint-Raphaël will do.” says Frédéric Masquelier, Mayor of Saint-Raphaël.

The LRE Foundation collaborates with actors in Saint-Raphaël to highlight the local heritage, identify relevant sites and stories, connect them and create information panels for locals and tourists. This collaboration will result in the creation of new thematic trails to discover the city and its history in an authentic and sustainable way. These routes will be integrated into the international network of existing itineraries of the Liberation Route Europe. 

“This new partnership offers us the possibility to further explore the heritage of the Provence landings and the Operation Dragoon of August 1944 and to include the related remembrance sites and stories into the Liberation Route Europe and Europe Remembers initiatives.” says Rémi Praud, LRE Foundation Managing Director, “We are more than happy to welcome Saint-Raphaël into our international network of those engaged into the valorisation of their WWII-related heritage, and we hope that their leadership in the region will inspire others to join us”.

First ‘Vector of Memory’ unveiled on the Liberation Route Europe in North-Brabant

The LRE Foundation is proud to announce that new hiking trails have been presented in the North-Brabant province, Netherlands, as part of its Liberation Route Europe project on 17 September 2021. The kick-off event took place in Meierijstad in the presence of the city’s Mayor Kees van Rooij who unveiled the first ‘Vector of Memory’ together with his colleague Jean-Pierre Lhonneur from the French town of Carentan in Normandy.

The first unveiled ‘Vector of Memory’ is located on the Vlagheide in Meierijstad and tells the story of the American paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division who set foot for the first time on Brabant soil on 17 September 1944. These trail markers, designed by the award-winning architect Daniel Libeskind, will be implemented along the Liberation Route Europe to point to a series of historical locations and as informative panels.

“It is wonderful that the Liberation Route Europe pays homage to the liberators of our municipalities, sharing and experiencing the stories in a contemporary way, to keep the memory of the Second World War alive.” declared Meierijstad MayorKees Van Rooij, “Meierijstad and Carentan are therefore very pleased to be a part of this international project.”  

The launch ceremony took place exactly 77 years after the liberation of the province of North-Brabant by the Allies. The Brabant section of the Liberation Route Europe was developed in collaboration with Brabant Remembers, VisitBrabant Routebureau and OLAT and supported by the vfonds and the Mondriaanfonds. The trails follow the Airborne Walking Route and tell the story of Operation Market Garden, the large airborne operation launched by the Allies to ensure a swift advance towards Berlin in September 1944.

Walking route map and route planner 
A complete map of the new hiking trails will be published in November, with the most important sites, stories and ‘Vectors of Memory’ in the municipalities of the North-Brabant province. The complete international network of hiking trails, including all the stories along the route and a travel planner to map out your itinerary in the footsteps of history is available on the Liberation Route Europe website.

LRE Foundation and the Airborne Region present 4 new routes to commemorate Operation Market Garden

On 1 September 2021, LRE Foundation’s Deputy Director, Jurriaan de Mol, and Project Manager, Joël Stoppels, presented from the historic location of the Airborne Museum Hartenstein four new local World War II-themed itineraries in the Airborne Region. This presentation was made in the presence of the press and of the four municipalities of Arnhem, Overbetuwe, Ede and Renkum to kick-off the Airborne Month, dedicated to the commemoration of the Operation Market Garden throughout the month of September.

These new local routes have been developed thanks to the long-lasting partnership among Toerisme Veluwe Arnhem Nijmegen, the Airborne Region and the LRE Foundation. They can be experienced by local inhabitants and tourists alike as part of the Liberation Route Europe, the certified Cultural Route of the Council of Europe that connects people, places, and events to mark Europe’s liberation from occupation during World War II.

Find the 4 routes on the Liberation Route Europe website:

  • The Poles of Driel is a hike past important sites in and around the city of Driel, where the Polish 1st Independent Parachute Brigade fought during the Second World War.
  • The Oosterbeek Perimeter Route takes you along the Western perimeter: a horseshoe-shaped line of defence around the city of Oosterbeek, in which British and Polish troops retreated during the Battle of Arnhem and held out under continuous German attacks for nine days.
  • The Ede Drop Zone Route takes you across the landing zone of Ginkel Heath where two thousand paratroopers landed near the city of Ede. This act marked a crucial step for the liberation of the Netherlands.
  • The Airborne City Tour Arnhem takes you through the centre of Arnhem and makes the failed Battle of Arnhem (which took place in September 1944) come alive through 25 ‘audio spots’. To immerse yourself further in the story, download the Airborne Stories app.


The unveiling of these new roads connected to the stories of Operation Market Garden was accompanied by a very emotional video message from British WW2 veterans who addressed the inhabitants of the Airborne region.