Sybir Memorial Museum and LRE Foundation sign a Memorandum of Understanding  

The Sybir Memorial Museum and the LRE Foundation are excited to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. This new collaboration will not only add a new Institution to the LRE Network but also create a valuable environment for upcoming joint projects.  

Honoured with the Council of Europe 2024 Museum Award, the Sybir Memorial Museum (Białystok, Poland) is dedicated to the memory of those deported from Poland and other parts of the multinational Second Polish Republic. The collaboration between the Sybir Memorial Museum and the LRE Foundation shed light on the human cruelty and unimaginable hardships that many people had to endure in the depths of Siberia. 

The uniqueness of the Sybir Memorial Museum lies in the fact that it is the only institution in Poland, and perhaps in the world, entirely dedicated to those who were deported deep into Russia and the Soviet Union from the end of the 18th century until the middle of the 20th century. The story combines historical narrative with first-hand accounts, portrayed through ordinary objects that carry an extraordinary emotional charge and the weight of untold stories. 

The Sybir Memorial Museum and the LRE Foundation are both dedicated to raising awareness of the history and legacy of the Second World War. As such, this collaboration provides the basis for future joint ventures focusing on common objectives and joint initiatives. Some project ideas have already been discussed, leading to fruitful cooperation between the two institutions. 

“It is a great honour to collaborate with such a distinguished institution, which undertakes so many remembrance projects in Central and Eastern Europe. We very much hope to carry out many projects together in the context of promoting local heritage and spreading the wordabout these extremely brave people who deserve to be remembered”- says Joanna Roman, Project Manager at the LRE Foundation 

Press conferences take place across Europe to present Europe Remembers and the 80th anniversary of D-Day and Provance landings.

Throughout February, March and April, the LRE Foundation has been participating in a series of press conferences organised collectively by partners Normandie Tourisme, Var Tourisme, and Atout France (France Tourism Development Agency). These events aim to highlight the upcoming 80th anniversary of the D-Day and Provance Landings while providing a platform to present our project, Europe Remembers. 

The press conferences were held in significant locations: the first in London at the Imperial War Museum, the second in Amsterdam at the Verzetsmuseum Resistance Museum, and the third in Brussels at the Royal Military Museum. A fourth press conference will be organized on April 2 at the Musée de l’Armée in Paris

During these gatherings, attendees had the opportunity to delve into the anniversary commemorations for the D-Day Landings and Operation Dragoon scheduled for this year, whilst gaining insights into the programmes’ details.

Another focal point discussed was the LRE Foundation’s initiative, Europe Remembers, an international awareness campaign and online platform to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the end of World War II and draw attention to historical events and commemorations across Europe. The campaign is a collaborative project supported by many partners across Europe including Region Normandy and Normandy Tourism.  

The four press conferences provided an excellent opportunity to present and promote the project in front of professional journalists, laying the groundwork for reaching an international and diverse audience. 

Reflections on the LRE Forum 2024: A Recap from Aachen

At the end of February the LRE Foundation, together with LRE Germany and LRE NRW got to organise the LRE Forum 2024 in the beautiful city of Aachen.  Three rich days of activities, discussions and meetings about the heritage of WWII brought together international members and partners of the LRE Foundation, as well as tourism stakeholders from all over the world.

Welcome Reception

On February 26, the LRE Members and Partners were welcomed to the event centre Forum M for the start of the LRE Forum 2024. The veue, located in the very centre of the Aachener Old Town, set the scene for the official opening of the 4-days programme. The guests were greeted with speeches from Rémi Praud, LRE Foundation Managing Director, Gotthard Kirch, Director of LRE NRW and Heinrich Brötz, Deputy for the Education, Youth and Culture Department for the City of Aachen.

LRE Forum Welcome cocktail
Welcoming words by Rémi Praud, LREF Managing Director

LRE Member Seminar

On February 27th, the Foundation hosted its annual Member Seminar as the first event of the day. The event took place in the beautiful setting of the Aachen Altes Kurhaus ballroom, where members of the LRE Foundation gathered. The Foundation team began by providing an overview of the past year’s projects and developments, as well as outlining the plans for the upcoming year. Following that, five members of the Foundation were given the opportunity to present their own projects to the network, sharing their ideas and best practices for making WW2 history more accessible and relevant.

The event concluded with a lively discussion moderated by Rémi Praud, Managing Director of the LRE Foundation. With guest speakers from the WW2 heritage sector, the session explored the topic “The 80th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War. A Remembrance and Commemorative Crossroad”.

Caroline Belt (Brabant Remembers)
Dirk Backen (German War Grave Commission, Kassel), Simon Bendry (Commonwealth War Graves Commission, London), Femke Klein (National Committee 4 and 5 May, Amsterdam), Łukasz Kukawski (Museum and Memorial in Sobibór)  

LRE Conference

On the afternoon of February 27th, the LRE Conference welcomed around 160 participants to discuss the ways societies and individuals have tried to address the harms caused during World War II, specifically in attempts to make amends for persecution.

The Conference opened with a keynote speech by Dietmer Nietan, Member of the German Bundestag and Coordinator for the German-Polish cooperation about the shift from persectution to justice and accountability.

Led by British author and historian Keith Lowe, the following panel discussion included speakers from important international institutions active in the field. They deliberated on how their organizations and governments across Europe address the consequences of the persecution of the Second World War.
A crucial point of discussion was the extent to which the laws passed after the war laid a foundation for reparations for persecution and to what extent these laws reached their limits, especially in their implementation.

To conclude the Conference, we were deeply honoured to have welcomed Mala Tribich, a holocaust survivor, to the stage, who let us into her incredible life story. In conversation with Sharon Buenos, global director of the Zikaron BaSalon, Mala Tribich shared her personal experience with persecution, deportation, and the loss of dear family members, making us recall once again, why memory preservation and transmission, are such significant pillars in our society.

“We have to be vigilant and we must not be bystanders. If we see harm being done to people […] We should always stand up to it. We should always respond to it and not let people get away with it.” – Mala Tribich MBE

Keith Lowe (Historian and author), Dr Dominika Uczkiewicz (Pielicki Institute, Wroclaw), Dr Andrea Despot (Remembrance, Responsibility and Future Foundation, Berlin), Dr Carlo Gentile (Martin Buber Institute, Cologne), Anne Webber (Commission for Looted Art in Europe, London)
Rémi Praud, Mala Tribich and Sharon Buenos
Martin Schulz, Chairman of the Frierich-Ebert-Stiftung and Patron of the LRE Foundation

LRE Gala

The annual Gala Dinner was held in the magnificent Coronation Room of the Aachen City Hall, where a select group of guests gathered for an intimate get-together. Against the stunning backdrop of the medieval arches of the hall, a delectable dinner was served, followed by the official welcome ceremony for new members of the network, bringing the day to a joyful close. The evening was graced with speeches from the Mayor of Aachen, Sybille Keupen, Ed Kronenburg, Chairman of the LRE Foundation, and Martin Schultz, Chairman of the Frierich-Ebert-Stiftung and Patron of the LRE Foundation, all of which accompanied and delighted the guests.


As part of our annual thematic trade show on 28 February, Foundation members had the opportunity to network and connect with tour operators and other trade stakeholders from around Europe and North America. During this event, participants were able to exchange contacts and showcase their destinations to one another. During the event, participants exchanged contacts and showcased their destinations, while also learning from each other, sharing best practices, and proposing ideas for future collaboration. With over 100 attendees, the annual LREXPO is becoming a crucial appointment for those working in cultural heritage, remembrance tourism, and historical education.

Annual LREXPO Trade Fair at the Forum M, Aachen
Annual LREXPO Trade Fair at the Forum M, Aachen
At the German War Cemetery in Vossenack on February 28

Site Visits

After the Expo, on the afternoon of 28 February, members got the chance to visit some of the historical and remembrance sites in and around Aachen. As a first stop, the former military training area of Vogelsang, a camp used by the National Socialists to train future officers, gave an insight into the oppressive machinery of the NS Regime. Afterwards, the participants were taken to the Hürtgen Forest, the place that witnessed the longest Battle on German soil in the winter of 1944.

To conclude the eventful four-day Forum, a guided tour on the morning of 29 February introduced visitors to the important history of Aachen over the last centuries and during WW2. Aachen was the first German city to be liberated by the Allied soldiers.

FAM Trips

In addition to the site visits organised for the LREF members in the German Eifel Region, international tour operators took part in a Familiarization Trip in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. The Belgian part of the trip, which mainly took place in the Ardennes region, included visits to the Bastogne War Museum, the 101 Airbourne Museum and Malmedy.

After spending two full days in the “Battle of the Bulge” area, the FAM Trip proceeded to the Limburg region in the Netherlands. The tour included visits to significant sites such as the Maastricht underground, the German War Cemetery in Ysselsteyn, and the War Museum Overloon.

As the final stop on this year’s FAM trip, the Airbourne Region in the Netherlands welcomed tour operators to explore their region’s crucial WW2 history. The visits included museums, sites, and memorials in Nijmegen, Arnhem, Hartenstein, and Ede, where the famous Operation Market Garden parachute landings took place.

At the Mardasson Memorial near the Bastogne War Museum
At Ginkel Heath in the Airborne Region