Discover the new Liberation Route Europe’s Trails in Italy!

LRE Italy, one of the LREF national branches, has created a network of thematic routes and trails related to World War II in Italy as part of the “Liberation Route Europe’s Trails in Italy” project. The initiative was made possible by support from the Federal Republic of Germany’s German-Italian Future Fund. Taking inspiration from the existing Liberation Route Europe project at the European level, LRE Italy has created these itineraries to provide visitors with a better knowledge of the war’s impact on Italy.

Thematic itineraries focus on two major areas: the Gothic Line in Tuscany and Emilia Romagna, as well as the Gustav Line. These routes emphasize significant World War II remembrance sites, monuments, and museums, allowing visitors to interact with the stories and memories associated with this period. LRE Italy has also developed three city thematic routes for Lucca, Milan, and Rome. These itineraries act as physical and virtual links between numerous historical landmarks in these cities.

LRE Italy has included three urban trekking routes in Milan, Lucca, and Rome to diversify the visitor experience. By offering both rural and urban itineraries, travellers can explore a wide range of locations, from well-known sites to lesser-known places of international significance.

All the newly developed thematic routes are conveniently accessible online at

LRE Italy intends to continue growing its network of thematic routes in the future years. The goal is to create this network of trails that can be travelled on foot, by bicycle, or even virtually, connecting the regions where Italy was liberated from Nazi occupation and the fascist regime between 1943 and 1945.

A new section for the Canadian Liberation Route: the Drenthe hiking trails

In the lead-up to the ’80 Years of Freedom” in 2025, the LRE Foundation will launch a new long-distance walking route in Drenthe on June 28. Following the Friesland Route, the Drenthe route will be the second section of the Canadian Liberation Route to be inaugurated in the Netherlands. 

Covering a distance of over 150 kilometres, the walking route in Drenthe spans from Meppel to Havelte and from Zuidwolde to Zuildaren and includes more than 50 stories, 60 remembrance sites and four circular routes.  

The new route will be part of the Canadian Liberation Route, an essential addition to the Liberation Route Europe hiking trail network that focuses on retracing the steps of Canadian liberators in the Netherlands during 1944-45. Beyond the military story, the journey delves into the role of the resistance in liberation, the actions of secret agents, and the experiences of regular citizens. 

As part of the launch ceremony on June 28, a “Vector of Memory” will be unveiled. These memorials, designed by the American architect Daniel Libeskind, are scattered throughout the province and mark significant events on the ‘Canadian Trail’. The monument has been adopted by the Hooghalen Public Primary School IKC de Bosvlinder, bringing local war history to life for children and passing on the legacy of WWII to future generations. 

The development of the new long-distance walking route and the installation of the Vector of Memory in Drenthe were made possible by the Province of Drenthe, as well as organizations such as Regio Groningen-Assen, FB Oranjewoud, Stichting Waarborgfonds Meppel, vfonds, and the nine municipalities along the route. 

The launch of the new walking route in Drenthe, part of the Canadian Liberation Route, is a significant milestone in commemorating ’80 Years of Freedom’.” says Rémi Praud, LRE Foundation Managing Director. “It allows us to retrace the steps of Canadian liberators, shed light on resistance stories, and remember the experiences of ordinary citizens. Moreover, the unveiling of the ‘Vector of Memory’ monument creates a tangible link to the past, ensuring the legacy of World War II is passed on. We are grateful to the Province of Drenthe and our partners for making this initiative possible.”

The first ‘Persecution Through Their Eyes’ youth event took place in Camp Vught National Memorial on June 16

On June 16, the first of four Persecution Through Their Eyes youth events was held with great success in Camp Vught National Memorial. Animations made by students of the St. Joost School of Art & Design were shown, and participants visited the impactful ‘Persecution Through Their Eyes’ exhibition, immersing themselves in the stories  of individuals whose lives were linked to acts of persecution during the Second World War.

Persecution Through Their Eyes is a European Union-funded project that aims to broaden a multi-perspective, transnational understanding of Nazi persecution by shedding light on the diverse experiences of its victims and perpetrators. Among the victims are Jews, Roma/Sinti, political prisoners, homosexuals, prisoners of war, civilians, and resistance fighters.

The project is organised by the LRE Foundation with some prominent project partners: Camp Vught National Memorial (Netherlands), Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation (Germany), the National Peace Park of Sant’Anna di Stazzema (Italy), and Grodzka Gate –  NN Theatre Centre in Lublin (Poland).

The inaugural youth event provided students with an opportunity to delve into the permanent exhibition of the Camp Vught National Memorial and gain deeper insights into the camp’s history. The event’s key moments were the unveiling of the Persecution Through Their Eyes exhibition and the screening of short films created by the students to animate the stories included in the exhibition. The audience was captivated by the diverse approaches employed by students in the development and storytelling process.

The animations that emerged from this project not only enrich the exhibition panels but also enhance the visitor experience by providing an additional means to grasp the gravity of such stories and historical facts.  The exhibition, along with the accompanying animations, can now be viewed by the public at Barracks 1B, which is located 500 meters away from the main building of the Camp Vught memorial.

The Persecution Through Their Eyes project will continue to empower and inspire young people with upcoming youth events organised by the other project partners in Germany, Italy and Poland.

The Var Department has joined the LRE Foundation and launched “Var 1944 – the Var’s freedom routes”

We are thrilled to announce the expansion of the LRE Foundation’s network: Var, the French Department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, has joined us and our national branch, LRE France. Rémi Praud, Managing Director of the LRE Foundation, and Isabelle Lebreton, Director of the LRE France, attended the official launch of the “Var 1994 – the Var’s Freedom Routes” on June 9 in Toulon, France, as a first step in this collaboration.

On August 15, 1944, 70 days after the Normandy landings, the Allied forces, supported by the Var resistance fighters, carried out the Operation Dragoon, a naval and air operation involving American, British, Canadian, and French troops in Provence. This operation liberated the Provence region in less than two weeks, yet it spanned over three months and involved more than 900 000 soldiers.

Nearly 80 years later, the Var’s Freedom Routes aim to commemorate the soldiers, both men and women, who participated in the operation by highlighting significant sites in the Var department. The official launch of the project served as a forum for informing and bringing together all stakeholders involved in this significant project.

One of the first stages of the new partnership between the Var Department and the LRE France and LRE Foundation is to include “Var 1994 – the Var’s Freedom Routes” in the Liberation Route Europe project. The two organizations will work together to promote the route, its sites and stories related to the history of the Second World War to an international audience.

The project, which was launched on Friday in anticipation of the 80th anniversary of Europe’s liberation, is completely consistent with all of the causes we support.”, says Isabelle Lebreton, LRE France Director.We are pleased to see the development of an itinerary on the Var’s Freedom Routes, which has earned its legitimate place within the Liberation Route Europe. We are thrilled to be working with the Var Department and to welcome it to our network.

LRE Foundation signs Memorandums of Understanding with Cranwell Aviation Heritage Museum and Lincolnshire Ramblers (UK)

As the LRE UK national branch continues to grow, we are pleased to welcome two new partners: Cranwell Aviation Heritage Museum and Lincolnshire Ramblers! Both organisations are based in Lincolnshire, where we are developing a new section of the Liberation Route Europe Trails highlighting the countys rich Second World War aviation history. 

Cranwell Aviation Heritage Museum is a superb location to learn about the history of RAF Cranwell, a nearby Royal Air Force base which played a key role during the War. With aircraft to view, a simulator, and many artefacts and exhibits, the museum offers an engaging way to learn about aviation history. The first step in our collaboration will be the integration of the museum into the Liberation Route Europe Trails network, which will pass through the village of Cranwell, signposting visitors to the museum. 

“As an area very much at the heart of the mission to liberate Europe through airborne operations, I am very proud and pleased that the District will be a part of this Europe-wide project to remember the past, to create a better future.”, says Cllr Richard Wright, Leader of North Kesteven District Council which operates Cranwell Aviation Heritage Museum. “Cranwell Aviation Heritage Museum acts as a focal point for North Kesteven’s rich aviation heritage and celebrates more than a century of training at the adjacent RAF College Cranwell of many prestigious airmen who were very much a part of that liberation journey. The museum is a very proud partner in this exciting project. With Cranwell at its south, the International Bomber Command Centre at the north and an extensive trail of historic and still-operational airfields in between – many of them Bomber Command bases in support of the Liberation advance – the extent of North Kesteven’s aviation heritage is unsurpassed.”  

Lincolnshire Area Ramblers, part of The Ramblers, a UK national walking and campaigning charity, are an invaluable partner in the development of the Lincolnshire Liberation Route. Their support and expertise in connecting local sites of interest via the best hiking trails are hugely appreciated, given the county’s vast network of trails and roads. Thanks to their local knowledge, walkers will be able to explore the local Second World War history as they pass through the wonderful Lincolnshire countryside. 

“Lincolnshire Ramblers are proud to be a partner with the LRE Foundation. Lincolnshire has many locations with connections to the Second World War conflict and the newly-devised trail will link many of these, bringing to life the realities of the war. It will also give visitors the opportunity to explore the delights of Lincolnshire, with its golden beaches, beautiful countryside and attractive market towns.” – Geoff Mullett, Chair of Lincolnshire Ramblers.