2023 kicks off with more great news: thanks to financial support from the vfonds, the Dutch Fund for Peace, Freedom and Veteran Care, the LRE Foundation presents a new development of the Liberation Route Europe project, the Liberation Route Cycling Routes! The new cycling route planner will enable even more people across Europe to actively participate in the commemoration and remembrance of World War II, reflecting on the value of freedom, democracy, and peace, while enjoying some active time outdoors. The LRE Foundation team is at work to make the first cycling routes available by Spring 2023.
Since 2021, the LRE Foundation has been working on the Liberation Route Europe hiking trails, a sustainable tourism project linking places and stories related to the liberation of Europe at the end of WWII. The trail system consists of many different walking routes, from long hikes to one-day or half-day itineraries, all of which can be planned on www.liberationroute.com or the Liberation Route mobile app. Along the way, walkers can find many remembrance sites and museums, and read or listen to stories from the final stages of WWII. Around 200 points of interest along the route have already been marked with trail markers called ‘Vectors of Memory’, designed by American architect Daniel Libeskind
“Following in the footsteps of the Polish Liberators” Cycling Route
This year thanks to vfund the LRE Foundation will add the first cycling route to Liberation Route Europe. “Following in the footsteps of the Polish Liberators” will be a unique cycling route through the Netherlands, commemorating the Polish troops’ efforts during the country’s liberation. Indeed, although the role of Polish forces during the War is often downplayed or ignored, the First Polish Armored Division of General Maczek and the First Independent Parachute Brigade of General Sosabowski played a crucial role in the liberation of the Netherlands.
The Polish liberators symbolize the suffering inflicted by war on ordinary civilians. In 1942, the 1st Polish Armored Division was formed in Britain from the children of immigrants, labour camp refugees, escaped prisoners of war, and soldiers who managed to flee Poland after its downfall. The Polish people hoped to liberate their homeland; however, their deployment was limited to Western Europe, and many could not return to Poland after the war because of the new communist regime. In this light, the new cycling route, which will be built around stories like these, will aim to show the huge impact that war has on the lives of ordinary citizens.
Since the new route’s impending launch, the LRE Foundation is seeking cooperation with, among others, the Polish Embassy in The Hague, the Maczek Memorial, the Driel-Polen Foundation, and Brabant Remembers
Photo by Jonathan-Andrew