EUROM and the LRE Foundation sign a Memorandum of Understanding to kick off their collaboration

The European Observatory on Memories (“EUROM”) and the LRE Foundation are pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Both institutions share the same mission of raising awareness of the history and memory of the Second World War. Therefore, this partnership establishes the foundation for future collaborations aimed at achieving their common goals, including new projects, events, and awareness campaigns, while helping both parties to expand their networks.

Led by the University of Barcelona Solidarity Foundation since 2012, EUROM works as a transnational network of institutions and organisations committed to the analysis and promotion of public policies of memory. With a reflective view of the history of Europe and the past struggle for freedom and democracy, EUROM wants to contribute to more plurality, solidarity, tolerance and inclusion in our society.

The LRE Foundation, as well as EUROM, commits to preserving the cultural heritage related to the Second World War with its growing international network of people and organisations dedicated to remembrance and a vast array of projects and events designed to ensure that the memory endures. 

“The EUROM and the LRE Foundation are embarking on an invaluable collaboration that holds the promise of not only enhancing and broadening the reach of both our networks, but also nurturing a dynamic exchange of experiences. By uniting our efforts, we aspire to create a diverse, inclusive, and globally connected community where younger generations actively participate in preserving and promoting historical memory and its solidarity values”, highlights Jordi Guixé, Director of the EUROM.

“Through our partnership with EUROM, we have the valuable opportunity to connect and reinforce diverse networks, tap into precious research expertise in memory analysis, and gain insights from their work on various conflicts beyond the Second World War. EUROM’s successful projects, including training and events, serve as best practices, inspiring us to collaborate on initiatives that preserve and promote our shared history,” says Rémi Praud, Managing Director of the LRE Foundation.

A new LREF body is brought to life: The Member’s Council  

On Wednesday, 11 October 2023 a selected array of representatives of the LRE member organisations came together to hold the first Member’s Council Meeting. In total thirteen members joined online, representing organisations from eight countries. 

The Member’s Council is an advisory body of the LRE Foundation recently established by the International Supervisory Board. It aims to give the Foundation’s members a representation in the organisation’s decision-making process. The Council enables the representatives to give feedback on current LREF programs, contribute to LREF strategies and conceptualize common projects. It is composed of at least one representative per country in which the LRE Foundation has one member organisation. If the country has more than one member organisation, at least two representatives will be welcomed.  

In the meeting, all the present representatives were given the opportunity to introduce themselves and get to know each other. In several rounds of discussion, the members shared their opinions and ideas on the composition of the Council, the possibility of a rotation system of mandates as well as deciding on the format and structure of future meetings. 

What became once again clear is that the experiences and perspectives of the represented organisations and countries on the Second World War and Liberation are very multifaceted, which should be reflected in the bodies functioning. To contribute to the diversity of the Council, the Members intend to form several Working Groups, organised based on their expertise, priorities, and current projects in such fields.  

By common agreement, it was decided to hold the next Members Council meeting during the LRE Forum in Aachen from 26 to 29 February next year to discuss further steps.

We are thrilled to finally kick off the Member’s Council.“, says Rémi Praud, Managing Director of the LRE Foundation. “This is a great opportunity for us to get a more in-depth collaboration with our member organisations and countries. We are looking forward to receiving some feedback on our recent programs and initiating some new joint projects. Furthermore, the regular meetings will also strengthen our network, as we will have the opportunity to see each other more often and exchange information.” 

The second Persecution Through Their Eyes youth event took place in Sant’Anna di Stazzema

The second Persecution Through Their Eyes youth event took place successfully on October 13 in Sant’Anna di Stazzema National Park of Peace. Following the triumph of the first event in Camp Vught, participants had the chance to visit the ‘Persecution Through Their Eyes exhibition, and the National Park memorial sites and watch animations created by students from the St. Joost School of Art & Design.

Persecution Through Their Eyes, a European Union-funded project, aims to offer a multi-perspective and transnational view of Nazi persecution, spotlighting the experiences of victims and perpetrators. Victims included Jews, Roma/Sinti, political prisoners, homosexuals, prisoners of war, civilians, and resistance fighters among others.

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

Over 100 students explored Sant’Anna di Stazzema’s square, church, Historical Museum of the Resistance, and other remembrance sites connected to the massacre, which happened on August 12, 1944, in the small town. The event’s key moments included the unveiling of the Persecution Through Their Eyes exhibition and the screening of short films created by the students of the St. Joost School of Art & Design.

The exhibition, located at the Factory of Rights in the Sant’Anna National Park of Peace, will be open to the public until the end of December 2023 and can be visited by appointment only.

Persecution Through Their Eyes is the third in a successful series of European Union-funded projects targeted at improving young people’s awareness of World War II.”, noted Joanna Roman, Project Manager at the LRE Foundation. “This youth event was fascinating in a variety of ways. We had the opportunity to share previously unknown personal stories with the students and to visit places of memory that must be protected and fostered.”

Persecution Through Their Eyes will continue to inspire young people with upcoming events organized by project partners. The next youth event is scheduled for October 30 at the Catholic University of Lublin in Poland, and the last one will be held on November 7 at the Buchenwald Memorial in Germany.

The Airborne Museum in Sainte-Mère-Église is now part of our network 

We are excited to announce the expansion of our network as we welcome the Airborne Museum in Sainte-Mère-Église in France as the newest member of LRE Foundation and LRE France.

Situated just a few kilometres from Utah Beach, the Airborne Museum holds the distinction of being Europe’s largest museum dedicated to the American paratroopers of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions who took part in the Normandy Landings in 1944, during the Second World War. 

These paratroopers, who were the first Allied soldiers to land on the night of June 5-6, played a crucial role in the success of the Battle of Normandy. After liberating Sainte-Mère-Église, they fought Nazi soldiers across the Cotentin region, eventually establishing a substantial bridgehead that would allow France to be liberated from German control. 

The Airborne Museum in Sainte-Mère-Église, located directly across from the bell tower where paratrooper John Steele became famous for being hung during the D-Day landings, aims to provide an accurate account of the events leading up to D-Day, from preparations in England to the conquest of freedom. 

I’m delighted to join this network, which is working across Europe to raise awareness of the history of the Second World War and create links between people.”, said Magali Mallet, Director of the Airborne Museum Sainte-Mère-Église. 

The Museum is committed to modernizing its spaces to provide creative tours that are accessible to all while still maintaining its educational purpose. Visitors to the museum will be able to interact with screens and holograms, as well as hear music and sound effects to obtain a deeper understanding of the major events that shaped the twentieth century. 

Announcing the new addition to the network, Isabelle Lebreton, Director of LRE France, said “It is a great pleasure to welcome the Airborne Museum to our network. This museum is a key player in the understanding and transmission of the memory of the Second World, and it is undergoing major renovations to make it as innovative and accessible to as many people as possible. I am delighted to see it joining our international network today, where it has its rightful place.” 

The LRE Foundation will attend the Cycle Summit 2023 

The LRE Foundation continues the important work of promoting its network’s initiatives and the Liberation Route Europe project. The Cycle Summit, which will take place from October 9-10 in Riolo Terme, Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, is the next scheduled event. Our Project Officer, Emme Johnson, will attend the event. 

The Cycle Summit, an important international travel trade conference centred on cycling tourism, has been a consistent forum for the LRE Foundation in recent years. Emme’s agenda during the summit includes meetings with tour operators to raise awareness of the Liberation Route Europe hiking and cycling trails project across the continent. The goal is to encourage tour operators to incorporate the Liberation Route into their travel offerings. 

Cooperation with the travel trade sector is key for Liberation Route Europe, which works with international partners to make European history more visible and accessible to travellers from all over the world. The emphasis on cycling and hiking tour operators is critical for combining Liberation Route Europe with innovative and sustainable tourism products and special offers, as well as promoting the route among cycling enthusiasts and visitors seeking a combination of outdoor, cultural, and historical experiences. 

This year’s Cycle Summit, following the previous edition in Chambery, France, boasts the participation of 147 individuals, representing over 100 tour operators from 29 countries worldwide. 

Following two days of in-person networking meetings, Emme will join the FAM trip to explore the picturesque areas of Faenza-Brisighella-Ravenna on foot and by bike, alongside other representatives from the travel trade sector.