LRE Conference

Florence, Tuscany
1 March 2023

The LRE Conference is the key learning event focused on current topics and challenges in the remembrance sector.

The slow but inevitable loss of the generation that lived the Second World War first-hand. The desire of many countries – especially Russia – to weaponize national memories of the war. The rising pressures coming from populist parties to remember the past in certain ways. These are just some of the socio-political changes that will be discussed at the LRE Conference 2023.

Academics and museum professionals from across Europe will explore the consequences of all these changes and the threats they pose to our communal understanding of the Second World War.

Contact us if you have any questions

Join us on
March 1


1 March 2023

Doors will open at 13:30, allowing time to grab a cup of coffee or tea before taking a seat.

Welcome words by:

Rémi Praud, Managing Director of the LRE Foundation

Eugenio Giani, President of the Tuscany Region

Keith Lowe, British Writer and Historian (Moderator)

The Ukrainian lands saw some of the most traumatic events during the Second World War and its aftermath. In his keynote lecture, the Ukrainian historian Georgiy Kasianov describes how use and abuse of memory of this war have resulted in a new standoff in the region, in Europe and globally.

Prof. Georgiy Kasianov, Head of the Laboratory of International Memory Studies at Maria Curie-Skłodowska University – Lublin, Poland

Nationalism played many different roles during the war, among both perpetrators and liberators. But how does our present-day nationalism colour our memory of that conflict? Are there parallels between the nationalism of the 1930s and 40s and that of today?  Is a sense of national belonging essential to a proper understanding of the war? Does our national pride allow us to connect to the past in a deeper, more meaningful way – or does it prevent us from examining the past objectively and self-critically?  If nationalism were somehow eliminated from our memory of the war, what would that memory look like?


Dr. Áron Máthé, Committee of National Remembrance – Budapest, Hungary
Prof. Guri Schwarz, Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Genoa
Dr. Jade McGlynn Department of War Studies, Kings College – London, United Kingdom
Prof. Kees Ribbens, Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies – Amsterdam, the Netherlands

A 15 minutes break to grab a cup of coffee or tea

In recent years, memories of the Second World War have become increasingly politicised across Europe. In this discussion, three current or former museum directors describe the intense pressures they have experienced to tell the story of the war in particular ways. How much of this pressure should be embraced, and how much resisted? And, crucially, how do we ensure that the memory of the war is used constructively, and not abused?

Dr. Gundula Bavendamm, Documentation Centre for Displacement, Expulsion and Reconciliation –  Berlin, Germany
Prof. Paweł Machcewicz, Institute of Political Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences –  Warsaw, Poland
Dr. Kaja Širok, School of Humanities, University of Nova Gorica, Slovenia

To round off the conference we will hear from the great niece of one of the worst war criminals of the Second World War. Katrin Himmler will speak about the difficulties of breaking the silence within her own family, the importance of taking responsibility for the past, and resisting the urge to forget.


Katrin Himmler, German Author and Political Scientist

Closing remarks

End of the LRE Conference 2023

Our Speakers

Meet the high-level speakers who will be part of the LRE Forum 2023

Venue &

Auditorium al Duomo, Florence

Via de’ Cerretani 54/R, 50123 – Firenze

LRE Forum Co-Organisers

With the contribution
and patronage of

Institutional partners

The LRE Foundation has been supported by the National Fund for Peace, Freedom and Veteran Care (vfonds) in the Netherlands since 2012. The vfonds is a strategic partner of the Foundation since, for many projects.

The LRE Foundation has been supported by the German Federal Foreign Office and its Embassy in the Hague (The Netherlands) since 2020, with a focus on the Liberation Route Europe Trails project.

Look back
at the 2022 edition