Jurriaan de Mol appointed Honorary Chairman of the LRE Foundation Board

The LRE Foundation is beyond happy and proud to announce the recent appointment of our former Deputy Director, Jurriaan de Mol, as Honorary Chairman of the LRE Foundation Advisory Board. 

From Liberation Route Europe initiator in 2007 to Chairman, driving force, Project Manager, and Deputy Director  – Jurriaan de Mol  has been involved in the creation and work of the LRE Foundation from the very beginning. In a short interview, Jurriaan tells the story of this 15-year-long adventure alongside the LRE Foundation: 

“After all those years, 15 years, I am still very excited and moved by the fact that the team of Liberation Route Europe is still working today on enlarging the trail from Southern England to Berlin but also the trails in southern Europe and more. This is a big achievement. […] People love to walk, and people are very interested in the stories that happened nearly 80 years ago – so yes, it is fantastic how we started and how far we got today.” says Jurriaan de Mol. 

Watch the interview and let Jurriaan’s enthusiasm guide you through the story about how the idea of connecting museums, cemeteries and remembrance sites came together and how he and many project partners laid the base for the international remembrance trail – Liberation Route Europe – and the LRE Foundation. 

A two-day workshop in the Shoah Memorial in Milan marks an important step for the “Persecution Through Their Eyes” project

On December 15 and 16, the Shoah Memorial in Milan hosted a two-day workshop as part of the “Persecution Through Their Eyes”, a project funded by the European Union. The gathering was intended to share and discuss different educational approaches to persecution during WWII, as well as brainstorm ideas for the upcoming exhibition and youth events.

The Milan workshop is one of the several activities that structured “Persecution Through Their Eyes”, an EU-funded LRE Youth Programme which involves a number of international 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).

After the welcoming remarks by Rémi Praud, Managing Director of LRE Foundation, and Mirco Carrettieri, Moderator and President of LRE Italy’s Scientific Committee the workshop’s first section featured experts’ speeches and presentations concerning various educational approaches and methods to the topic of persecution during WWII. The inclusion of speakers from different backgrounds gave this panel considerable value: Taja Vovk van Gaal (LRE Foundation’s Supervisory Board member and founding director of the House of European History), Talia Bidussa (Program Manager at the Shoah Memorial of Milan), Marta Baiardi (researcher at the Istituto Storico della Resistenza in Tuscany), Greta Bianchi (project assistant Children and Education at Fondazione Feltrinelli), Emanuele Edallo (researcher at the University of Milan), Elena Monicelli (coordinator at Scuola di Pace di Monte Sole), Chiara Nencioni (Università di Pisa – Istituto storico della Resistenza di Lucca ), Paolo Pezzino (President of Istituto Nazionale Ferruccio Parri), and Francesca Poli (Deina’s vice-president) focused on their institutions’ approaches, and their personal research in front of an audience made up of historians, museologists, university and high school professors.

Subsequently, the second part of the seminar brought together the “Persecution Through Theis Eyes” project’s partners to discuss the structure and the details of the upcoming exhibition, which will be one of the project’s core initiatives, taking place both virtually and physically in each of the four partner institutions and telling a wide range of personal stories related to persecution during WWII.

Eventually, the two-day workshop came to an intense and meaningful end with a guided tour provided by the Shoah Memorial in Milan to all workshop participants.

December 9 marked the conclusion of the first circle of the Liberations Route Europe Trails in Italy outreach events

From October to December, three outreach events in three different Italian regions were organised by LRE Italy to raise awareness about the Liberations Route Europe Trails.

The first took place on October 27 in Florence, Tuscany, in collaboration with the Tuscany Region, the Assessor’s Office of Memory Culture and International Relations, and the Assessor’s Office of Economy, Productive Activities, Credit Policies and Tourism. On November 15, the Shoa Museum Foundation in Rome, Lazio, hosted the second event, while the third and final one was held on December 9 in Bologna under the patronage of the Emilia-Romagna Region. 

All three initiatives were devoted to introducing LRE Italy and its work in the country. The meetings’ main focus was Liberation Route Europe Trails in Italy, a project funded by the Federal Republic of Germany’s Italian – German Fund for the Future and inspired by Liberation Route Europe that aims to create a network of thematic routes related to WWII throughout Italy.

The locations of the events in three different Italian regions were a significant added value to the project. Indeed, the events provide an opportunity to initiate a dialogue or, in some cases, strengthen an existing relationship with the various organizations that share an interest in the field, with the aim of expanding the Liberation Route Europe Trails in Italy to different parts of the peninsula. 

The LRE Foundation team and national branches come together for a three-day seminar 

After months of online meetings due to the pandemic, the LRE Foundation and the National Branches’ teams met in person for three days of seminars, discussions and idea exchange.

The meeting provided an opportunity for the LRE Foundation’s and the National Branches’ teams to share their experiences and best practices. The updates and potential growth of the numerous initiatives carried out in the various countries constituted one of the main topics of the seminars. Indeed, each National Branch had the time to illustrate the goals they are striving to achieve in the coming years as well as the targets they have already met.

A significant portion of the programme was devoted to the three primary projects of the Foundation – Liberation Route Europe, Europe Remembers and the Youth Programs. The various national approaches were discussed, broadening the teams’ perspectives and expertise in the process. The conversation touched on essential topics such as new partnerships, initiatives, and promotional channels. Through brainstorming exercises and horizontal discussions, each participant had the opportunity to speak, bringing a range of expertise, experience, ages and perspectives to the discussion and enhancing the debate’s outcomes with fresh and engaging points of view.

To complete the team building seminar, a tour of the Liberation Route Europe was organised, which included a guided tour of the German War Cemetery in Ysselstein, a visit to the network member the Overloon War Museum, and a visit to the Vector of Memory which commemorates the Battle of Overloon.

The LRE Foundation team continues to raise awareness of the Liberation Route network in Europe and beyond!

As the LRE Foundation continues the important work of furthering the network’s activities and the expansive Liberation Route Europe project, here’s a summary of our colleagues’ participation in several networking events in Europe to increase the Foundation’s visibility and build strong relationships with the Travel & Trade industry. 

From 5-7 October, the Annual Forum of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, of which the Liberation Route Europe has been an official route since 2019, took place in Chania (Crete), Greece. This included panel sessions, workshops, and best practices on heritage and culture, discussing relevant topics such as safeguarding European values and cultural heritage, promoting intercultural dialogue, and developing sustainable tourism products. 

Communications Manager, Cecilia Badano, spoke on behalf of the LRE Foundation on the panel ‘Promoting European Values’, where she presented the work of the Liberation Route Europe as an international network of remembrance institutions and trails system and talked about the shared values behind the network mission and ambitions. Project Officer, Emme Johnson, attended B2B networking sessions with ministry representatives from several countries (Austria, Finland, Greece) to discuss the Liberation Route Europe and the LRE Foundation‘s work. This was a valuable opportunity to consider how we can work together in the future to expand the route and engage a larger audience throughout Europe. 

From 8-11 October, the largest European bicycle touring trade show, the CycleSummit, took place in Chambéry, France. Project Officer, Emme Johnson, attended this major business meeting for bicycle travel professionals, which brings together over 80 national and international tour operators representing 25 different nationalities, to exchange, share and market. With 125 people attending and 90 tables on the conference floor, this was the most extensive edition yet and provided a perfect moment to increase the visibility of the LRE hiking and cycling trails among tour operators specialised in the sector. 

Later this year, the LREF team will attend more travel trade events to spread awareness of the Liberation Route Europe and network with relevant industry partners. These include the ETOA Global European Marketplace from 2-3 November and the World Travel Market from 7-9 November, both in London, where Communications Manager Cecilia Badano and Gert-Jan, Press and Communications, will attend. Following this, they will also be at the Travel Pressentation in The Hague, Netherlands, on 9 November to present the work of the Foundation and its members to Dutch travel journalists and bloggers. 

As we move into 2023, our LREXPO (2 March) at the LRE Forum, taking place in Tuscany, Italy, from 28 February – 3 March, will also be an essential opportunity for our members to develop links with travel trade. The programme will include FAM trips with European and North American tour operators, which will be a fantastic way to wrap up another edition of our annual event.

More information about the Forum will be shared in the next weeks.
For now, visit the dedicated webpage:

LRE Forum 2023: Florence will be the scenario of the next Foundation’s annual event!

We are excited to inform you that the LRE Forum 2023 will be held in Florence, Tuscany! From 28 February to 3 March 2023, the Foundation’s annual event will bring together international members, partners, and tourism stakeholders to network, share best practices and develop new ideas within the Second World War history and remembrance fields.

The 4-days program, jointly organised by the LRE Foundation and LRE Italy, is designed to offer a variety of activities, including engaging panel discussions on current topics in the WWII history and remembrance sectors, as well as several networking opportunities with WWII-related organisations, tourism and cultural heritage institutions, and international travel trade operators.

On 1 March, the LRE Member Seminar (morning) will provide an occasion to meet with other members, exchange ideas, and hear the Foundation’s latest updates. Following this, the LRE Conference (afternoon) features a variety of panel discussions about WWII history, memory transmission and the ever-changing, and at times challenging, landscapes in which we strive to remember and transmit our shared memories of the Second World War today. In the evening, the LRE Gala dining event offers valuable networking opportunities for Foundation members, key partners, and sponsors.

The LREXPO, to be held on 2 March, is an annual remembrance tourism expo that provides LRE Foundation’s members and partners an excellent opportunity to network with travel trade stakeholders from Europe and North America. To wrap up the LRE Forum 2023, organised site visits will be offered to explore some of the many important historical WWII sites and landmarks in the region, especially relating to the Italian Resistance and the Gothic Line.


Read more about the event at www.lre-foundation.org/forum

Further information about the programme and registrations will be sent out in November.
Should you have any questions in the meantime, please reach out to event@liberationroute.com

A new member for LRE Italy: The Municipality of Milan joins the network

Another great news for LRE Italy and LRE Foundation’s network: The Municipality of Milan has signed to become a member and will work with the national branch to expand the Liberation Route Europe trails in the Italian peninsula.

The President of LRE Italy, Raffaella Mariani, wishes to express her satisfaction on learning that the Municipality of Milan has formally joined the network:

“I express my heartfelt thanks to the Mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala, and the entire administration for formally joining LRE Italy. It is a great pleasure to have the Municipality of Milan, a gold-medal city of the Resistance, among our members. As underlined in its membership resolution, the Municipality of Milan considers memory as one of the transversal themes that must inspire and lead its cultural initiatives. Our common ambitions and objectives of promoting and enhancing remembrance sites and WWII memory transmission, especially to the younger generations, are excellent foundations for fruitful and lasting collaboration.”

The City of Dunkerque joins the LRE Foundation as new member

The LRE Foundation is glad to announce a new addition to its network: the Urban Community of Dunkerque. As part of this new membership agreement, other institutions gravitating around Dunkerque will join the LRE Foundation’s mission: The Association Mémorial du Souvenir, manager of the “Musée Dunkerque 1940”, the City of Leffrinckoucke, owner and manager of the “Musérial du Fort des Dunes”, and the Dunkerque District Tourist Office.  

This city needs no presentation for those interested in Second World War history. Located on the Northern coast of France, Dunkerque was the scene of one of the most critical and famous battles during World War II. As the Allied forces were losing the Battle of France, the Battle of Dunkerque (26 May – 4 June 1940) turned into a prominent defense and evacuation operation. Around 338.000 men belonging to the British and other Allied forces evacuated to Britain thanks to the aid of hundreds of naval and civilian vessels.  

The signature of the membership agreement opens the doors to future collaboration with the city of Dunkerque and its surroundings. “This partnership is a consequence of an obvious common interest and mission.”, says Rémi Praud, Managing Director of the LRE Foundation, “The city of Dunkerque and the LRE Foundation share the same ambition to keep making WWII history relevant and accessible. I am confident that the city will benefit from being part of this international dynamic network. We are proud to be able to work together on projects that will add visibility to such an incredible piece of our common history.” 

“We are very pleased to have joined the LRE Foundation. The Second World War had a huge impact on the Dunkerque area, not just during the Battle of Dunkerque and Operation Dynamo, but also because the town was among the last to be liberated in France, on 9th May 1945.
We are convinced that working together with other partners in the framework of the LRE network will help to raise awareness and to keep the memory alive.”, Patrice Vergriete, President of the Dunkerque District Authority, added.




LRE Italy receives funding from the Federal Republic of Germany for the development of the Liberation Route trails in Italy

The LRE Foundation is happy to announce that its national branch, LRE Italy, has recently received funding from the Federal Republic of Germany to develop the Liberation Route Europe trails in Italy. A remarkable success that consolidates the already positive collaboration between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Foundation started in 2020.

The financed project, entitled “Liberation Route Europe’s trails in Italy”, will be focused on building a network of ten thematic itineraries and related historical content related to the Second World War in Italy to be added to the already existing Liberation Route Europe trail system connecting London to Berlin on the footsteps of the Allies in 1943-1945.

Thanks to the funding obtained, it will be possible to carry out a series of activities on the Italian territory. Besides the new themed routes that will be developed in collaboration with some of the leading national hiking associations, three awareness-raising events will be organised in Tuscany, Lazio, and Emilia-Romagna to present Liberation Route Italy and the project activities. Moreover, more “Vectors of Memory”, trail markers designed by the architect Daniel Libeskind, will be installed in significant places of the Italian peninsula. Finally, three new promotional videos will be shot in Milan, Cassino and along the Gothic line in Emilia-Romagna. They will be presented as part of a comprehensive online marketing campaign to launch the project upon completion.

LRE Italy’s President Raffaella Mariani said: “We would like to thank the German federal government for its support. This funding means a lot to a small association, as LRE Italy is, and allows us to start working on this ambitious project of creating thematic hiking routes to tell World War II’s history.”