LRE Foundation’s branch in the UK welcomes two new partners in East Anglia

As the LRE UK branch continues to grow, we are pleased to announce two new partners, Parham Airfield and Bawdsey Radar Trust, located in East Anglia, one of the focus areas of LRE UK. Building on the Masters of the Air inspired Themed Route launched in January, work continues to bring this beautiful, historically significant area into the LRE network. 

Parham Airfield Museum opened in 1981 as a memorial to the 743 young airmen, mainly of the 390th Bomb Group (Heavy) United States Army Air Force (USAAF), who were based at Station 153 Framlingham between 1943 and 1945. The centre also houses the Museum of the British Resistance Organisation, dedicated to the men and women of the Auxiliary Units who were trained in underground resistance in case of invasion and occupation. The museum houses extensive collections of artefacts, archives and memorabilia relating mainly to the air war over Europe and the Resistance Organisation. 

The museum will soon commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day, in which the 390th Bomb Group took part, flying three missions on 6 June. Additionally, several thousand auxiliaries joined the Special Air Service, with many sent to France for sabotage operations behind German lines. The museum maintains strong links with the families of US veterans and members of the secret resistance forces. 

We are proud to become part of LRE, which matches our mission to show visitors how an earlier generation were prepared to give their all to defend freedom. All is quiet on the old airfield now and dozens of B17s no longer lift off the runways, but we will not forget... [LRE] is great to become part of a movement that seeks to encourage visits to our site in a sustainable way.” – Peter Senior, Chair of Trustees at Parham Airfield Museum. 

The Bawdsey Radar Trust focuses on preserving the history of radar technology and was founded in 2003 as the Bawdsey Radar Group, following a high turnout of 950 visitors to the newly opened transmitter block in July 2003. The museum stands on the site of the world’s first fully operational radar station. This station marked the beginning of the construction of a chain of radar stations all along the coast, designed as an early warning system to protect Britain during World War Two. The Bawdsey Radar Museum tells the story of radar from its beginnings to modern times and is situated adjacent to the Suffolk Coast Path. This sixty-mile trail from historic Landguard Point in Felixstowe to Lowestoft is a path which passes along the length of Suffolk’s beautiful Heritage Coast” 

“The Bawdsey Radar Trust is delighted to commence its cooperation with the LRE Foundation in extending its memorial trail connecting WWII remembrance sites and stories across Europe.” – Peter Wain, Bawdsey Radar Trust Trustee. 

SAVE THE DATE | The LRE Forum 2025 will take place in Krakow, Poland, from 10-13 March

After the successful LRE Forum 2024 in Aachen, Germany, we are thrilled to announce the upcoming LRE Forum 2025, jointly organised by the LRE Foundation and LRE Poland, to be held in Krakow, Poland, from 10 to 13 March. The city’s historical significance, particularly during the Second World War, makes it an especially interesting location for the annual gathering of the LRE Foundation. 

Each year, the LRE Forum serves as a platform for the Foundation’s members and partners, as well as tourism stakeholders from across the globe, to engage in various activities aimed at sharing innovative ideas and best practices. It provides a unique opportunity for participants to learn, network, and foster new collaborations. This year marks the 9th edition of the LRE Forum, initiated in Brussels back in 2017. Since then, it has grown in terms of participation and is increasingly becoming a central networking event within the World War II heritage sector.

Starting on Monday, 10 March, the LRE Forum 2025 promises a diverse agenda of lectures, panel discussions, and interactive sessions, providing attendees with insights into the best practices and opportunities within the remembrance sector. As with previous editions, the participants will have many opportunities to connect with fellow LRE Foundation members. However, networking and idea exchange will take on an even more important role this time, with multiple networking sessions planned to encourage connections and collaboration across the network.

In addition, the LRE Forum will facilitate networking with travel industry stakeholders during the annual LREXPO (12 March) and offer site visits to significant local museums, and memorials. To further enrich the experience of our participants during their time in Poland we are also organising a guided tour of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum.

Save the date for the LRE Forum 2025 in Krakow, Poland, and get ready to exchange innovative ideas and best practices with the network! Stay tuned to our website and social media accounts (LinkedIn and X) for further details and updates.

Liberation Route Europe’s 10th Anniversary Celebration: Save the Date! 

We are excited to share the programme of the Liberation Route Europe 10- Anniversary celebratory event! On June 7, we will gather in Arromanches-les-Bains, the same place where 10 years ago the Liberation Route Europe project was officially launched.  

This milestone event promises to be a day of reflection, remembrance, and celebration, set against the backdrop of one of Europe’s most historically significant locations. The day will kick off with a Liberation Walk, beginning at 9:30 am from the Esplanade in front of the D-Day Museum in Arromanches. Led by experienced guides, participants will embark on a 3km journey through the historical city of Arromanches offering a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the Normandy’s history.

Following the walk, the ’10 Years of Liberation Route Europe’ Ceremony will take place from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm. The program will feature speeches by representatives from Liberation Route Europe, project partners and local officials, highlighting the project’s achievements over the past decade. The event will move on with the presentation of the new Liberation Route Europe and the Arromanches themed route and Vector of Memory and a special tribute to veterans.  

The celebration will end with a convivial Refreshment Gathering and Guided Tour of the museum (upon registration) from 12:00 to 13:00. Here, guests will have the chance to mingle, share stories, and reflect on the occasion’s significance in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. 

“As we mark the tenth anniversary of the international launch of the Liberation Route Europe, I stand immensely proud of the extraordinary journey we have embarked upon together. The Liberation Route Europe has grown into a vast network of remembrance and reflection, connecting people and places with the profound stories of liberation that shaped our world. Along this journey, we have achieved remarkable milestones, none more emblematic than the Vectors of Memory, conceptualized by the architect Daniel Libeskind. As we look back on a decade of achievements, our hearts are filled with gratitude for the countless individuals and organizations that have joined us on this path of remembrance and education. The Liberation Route Europe is more than a route through geography—it is a journey through time, memory, and the very soul of our shared identity”, said Rémi Praud, LRE Foundation Managing Director.  

“As we celebrate this milestone, we renew our commitment to preserving the legacy of those who fought against the Nazi regime, ensuring their stories and sacrifices continue to inspire a future grounded in peace”, he added.  

The LRE Foundation would like to express its gratitude to the Normandy Region and Tourism Board, the City of Arromanches, and the D-Day Museum in Arromanches for their support in organizing this event. We also want to thank the Vfonds, Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in The Hague for their valuable support of the Liberation Route throughout the years. 

The full programme of the event has been shared with our network of members and partners, whose attendance would mark a significant milestone for us, given their crucial contribution to the project’s development. For questions and further information about the event and to receive the complete schedule, please contact us at event@liberationroute.com  

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”.

LRE FOUNDATION FORUM 2024
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.

LREXPO

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

The first Resistance Through Their Eyes youth event took place at the Resistance Museum Amsterdam on February 12-13  

The first event of the Resistance Through Their Eyes project kicked off with success at the Resistance Museum of Amsterdam in the Netherlands on February 13-14. This event marks the beginning of a series of four youth gatherings that will be hosted by each project partner.  

Coordinated by the LRE Foundation and funded by the European Union, Resistance Through Their Eyes  is a collaborative project that aims to broaden a multi-perspective, transnational understanding of the theme of resistance during the Second World War. Alongside the LRE Foundation, key partners including the Milan Municipality (Italy), the Institute Ferruccio Parri (Italy), the Resistance Museum Amsterdam (The Netherlands), The White Rose Foundation (Germany) and the Home Army Museum Krakow (Poland), have come together to bring this initiative to life. 

The first youth event provided over 120 Dutch students with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the permanent exhibition at the Resistance Museum of Amsterdam. They also explored significant historical sites associated with resistance during WWII in the neighbourhood. A highlight of the event was the “Resistance Through Their Eyes” exhibition, with personal stories of people who experienced and participated in the resistance in different countries and ways. The exhibition is on display at the Resistance Museum Amsterdam and is accessible online for wider reach. 

To explore the exhibition, the youth event featured interactive workshops designed to engage students actively. Eyewitness testimonies and personal stories further enriched the educational experience by providing insight into the human dimension of resistance during wartime. 

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

Pitch your project at the LRE Member Seminar 2024

As we eagerly anticipate the LRE Forum from February 26 to 29, 2024, in Aachen, Germany, we are excited to provide a sneak peek into one of its pivotal event—the Member Seminar. This gathering offers LRE Foundation members a platform to listen to the Foundation’s updates, showcase their best practices, present their projects, and engage in a thematic session centered around the 80th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

Scheduled for the morning of February 27, the Member Seminar stands as an opportunity for our LRE Foundation members to shine a spotlight on their accomplishments and ongoing initiatives. Attendees will have the chance to take the stage, sharing their noteworthy achievements, ongoing remembrance projects, and special plans for commemorating the 80th anniversary of the end of World War II in 2024. Registration for this event is still open for the Foundation’s members at this link.

A significant segment of the Member Seminar will be devoted to a thematic session focused on the 80th anniversary of the end of World War II. Entitled “The 80th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War – A Remembrance and Commemorative Crossroad,” this session will be moderated by Rémi Praud, the Managing Director of LRE Foundation and will feature international hosts, including:

  • Simon Bendry, Head of Education and Engagement, Commonwealth War Graves Commission – UK
  • Femke Klein, Coordinator of Programme 80 Years of Freedom, Nationaal Comité 4 en 5 mei (National Committee 4 and 5 May) – The Netherlands
  • Dirk Backen, Secretary General, Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge (German War Graves Commission) – Germany
  • Łukasz Kukawski, Head of Education and Visitor Center – Museum and Memorial in Sobibór – Poland

To make the Forum more interactive, we have included a Q&A session, providing attendees with the opportunity to engage directly with our hosts and delve deeper into the topics discussed.

If you are interested in pitching your project, please reach out to us at info@liberationroute.com.

LRE FORUM 2024 | You can still register for the event by visiting this link, and you can find the event’s programme, including dates and updated venues, here.

Guide Training 2024: “Storytelling about WWII Resistance in the context of Nazi memorials”, Austria, 1-3 February

The LRE Foundation, in collaboration with the Mauthausen, Gusen Memorials and the Austrian Documentation Center is inviting guides, educators and cultural heritage professionals to its upcoming LRE Guide Training, which will be held from the 1st to the 3rd of February. This year’s training theme is “Storytelling about WWII Resistance in the context of Nazi memorials”.

The program for this year’s training is designed to equip participants with the most effective methods and techniques for conveying knowledge about the WWII resistance movements, with a special emphasis on engaging a younger audience. Through workshops, discussions, and practical exercises, participants will explore specific educational solutions implemented by the partners at their respective sites. Attendees will gain insight into the experiences of the Mauthausen and Gusen Memorials in creating new remembrance sites as well as the educators’ work in the context of disseminating WWII events awareness at the Austrian Documentation Centre in Vienna. The training will be enriched by guided tours of the memorial sites.

This event is part of the “Resistance Through Their EYES” project initiated by the LRE Foundation with the support of several international project partners and supported by the European Union. Partial financial coverage for participant access to the training is provided through the funding.

The training participation entails two levels: Basic and Advanced. The following breakdown outlines the associated costs for each level of participation:

Basic Level – 250 EUR:

  • Access to the content of the two-day event (Day 1-2)
  • 1 night stay in Linz
  • Transportation from Mauthausen to Linz and from Linz to Gusen (as a group)
  • Coffee breaks and lunches during the two workshop days (provided at the Mauthausen Memorial)
  • Dinner in Linz

    – Excluding travel arrangements and transport to Mauthausen on the first day

Advanced Level – 300 EUR: 

  • Access to the content of the three-day event (Day 1-3)
  • 2 nights stay (Linz & Vienna)
  • Transportation from Mauthausen to Linz and from Linz to Gusen (as a group)
  • Transportation from Mauthausen to Vienna on the second day
  • Coffee breaks and lunches during all workshop days (including goodbye lunch in Vienna)
  • Dinner in Linz

    – Excluding travel arrangements and transport to Mauthausen on the first day

If you or any of your colleagues are interested in attending the LRE Guide Training, please send an email to Joël Stoppels – j.stoppels@liberationroute.com by 24 January 2024.

The LRE Foundation looks forward to your participation and making this workshop a valuable and enriching experience for everyone involved!

79th Anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge – Youth and Press Event in Bastogne launches New Vectors, Themed Routes, and Podcast series 

On December 15, 2023, the historic town of Bastogne hosted the Liberation Route Europe Youth Event as part of the Nuts Weekend, commemorating the 79th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge. Organized by the LRE Foundation, the Bastogne War Museum, the Bastogne Memorial Association, and the City of Bastogne, the event marked the launch of new initiatives related to the Liberation Route Europe project in the Wallonia region, which were made possible thanks to the support of the U.S. Embassy in Belgium. 

The expansion of the project aims to highlight the historical significance of the region, paying tribute to the pivotal role of the U.S. Army in the Battle of the Bulge and the liberation of the area. Walking along several new routes, which vary in size and theme, visitors get the chance to witness the most significant locations and stories in and around Bastogne, following the footsteps of U.S. troops.  Additionally, many new Floor Vectors have been installed, along with two Wall Vectors in Mons and Leopoldsburg, and three in Bastogne. The Vectors of Memory mark out some of the key historical sites in Belgium.

More than 100 students from Henallux College and numerous press representatives actively participated in the event at the Bastogne War Museum and Bastogne City Hall. Attendees had the opportunity to explore new Liberation Route itineraries and historical content thanks to guided walking tours along the Liberation Route trails in Bastogne. The tours led past numerous newly installed Vectors along the route, including the three sites where the new Wall Vectors were officially unveiled: the Bastogne Barracks, the 101st Airborne Museum, and Bastogne City Hall.

At the last of these locations, the City Hall Vector was unveiled in the presence of Mr. Michael M. Adler, U.S. Ambassador to Belgium, Benoît Lutgen, Mayor of Bastogne and Rémi Praud, LRE Foundation Managing Director, following a ceremony at the Bastogne City Hall. This ceremony wrapped up the day and marked the official launch of the new Liberation Route Europe Podcast “In the Footsteps of History”, which provides an audio dimension to the historical journey. Through vivid soundtracks and a collection of stories and interviews, the first episodes of this podcast series enable visitors of the Liberation Route to immerse themselves in the profound history of the area. The day was made even more special by the presence of a US veteran and concluded with a reception and warm drinks providing an opportunity for reflection and further discussion.

“The Liberation Route Europe Youth Event in Bastogne exemplifies the collaborative efforts dedicated to expanding educational initiatives and commemorating historical events in Wallonia. The project’s expansion now stands as a tribute to the sacrifices of the Battle of Bulge, inviting visitors to engage with and learn from the shared history of the region.”, says Rémi Praud, LREF Managing Director.

This initiative marks a significant stride in preserving and sharing the rich historical heritage of Bastogne, made possible through the collaborative efforts of the LRE Foundation, the Bastogne War Museum, the City of Bastogne and the support of the U.S. Embassy in Brussels.

“In the Footsteps of History “– The new podcast series of the Liberation Route Europe

We are delighted to finally release our latest Liberation Route Europe project initiative – the Podcast Series In the Footsteps of History. This new audio experience is designed to accompany listeners on their journey along the most fascinating and historically relevant landmarks on the Liberation Route, helping them immerse themselves in the WWII history of remembrance sites across Europe. 

Together with the French audio production company natif. and thanks to the contributions and support of the LRE network, we have created a new format for historical reflection and learning. The podcast uses a lively soundtrack to illustrate the wartime experience in various forms. From the sofa or on location, the podcast allows listeners to immerse themselves in the rich WWII history around us. The podcast is designed to be a companion for those hiking or biking along the trails and actively exploring the remembrance sites and as a documentary for those who want to experience it from the comfort of their homes.

In the first five episodes of the series, listeners are transported to Bastogne and some of its numerous Second World War sites, where they are immersed in the conflict through conversations with historians, eyewitnesses and through the extracts of stories and letters from people who lived through that time.

Hosted by the British journalist Rich Woodruff, the Bastogne series takes listeners on a historical journey through time. Along the way, the experience is enriched by interviews with Peter Schrijvers, Historian and curator of the Liberation Garden Museum in Leopoldsburg, Mathieu Billa, Director of the Bastogne War Museum, and Henry Mignon, an eyewitness of the battle. Additionally, the podcast includes the story of a German soldier and the nurse Renée Lemaire, offering a diverse engagement with the events in Bastogne from different perspectives.

We’re happy to welcome this new addition to our Liberation Route Europe project and look forward to seeing it grow, covering more stories and remembrance sites across Europe.

If you want to dive into the podcast, you can find the first episodes on the major streaming platforms.

Read more about the project and how to get involved at www.lre-foundation.org/podcast