In the coming weeks, the LRE Foundation along with members and partners, will hold outreach events in several European countries, including the Netherlands, Poland, Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and France. These events are being funded by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in the Hague.
The primary goal of all these outreach events is to present the work of the LRE Foundation and the Liberation Route Europe project, with a particular emphasis on its interaction with local history and tourism, and to raise awareness among both regional and national stakeholders. Each event features different speakers and topics, providing a diverse range of perspectives.
On Monday 13th, our Programme manager Peter Kruk was in Maczek Memorial Breda, West-Brabant Region, where numerous WWII-themed cycling and walking routes are held. There, the LRE Foundation, Brabant Herinnert, VisitBrabant, and VisitBrabant Routebureau co-organised the first of three outreach events in the Netherlands to present the Liberation Route Europe project. The same event took place seven days later, on 20th March, in the Museum Wings of Liberation, East-Brabant Region.
Earlier this month, similar events took place in Terneuzen, Kapelle and Flushing in Zeeland-region. Many organizations debated how to link sites and stories commemorating the Battle of the Scheldt. Our new Battle of the Scheldt Hiking Trail was an inspiring example.
The first outreach event in Poland took place on 16th March. This was a critical step in involving stakeholders in the development of the upcoming LRE branch. Joanna Roman, LREF Project Manager, organised the meeting, which was hosted by the Home Army Museum in Krakow. Local and regional authorities and institutions from Krakow and other cities were present, as were current members of the LRE Foundation: Museum of Gdansk and “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Center in Lublin. The Liberation Route Europe Hiking Trails project was highlighted as part of an informative session dedicated to introducing those present to the activities of the LRE Foundation. The following guest presentations and Q&A session explored the feasibility of implementing such a project in Poland. A closing discussion demonstrated the participants’ commitment and initial ideas for collaboration.
Another outreach event took place on 17th March in Vogelsang IP in the National Park Eifel, Germany. Gotthard Kirch, Managing Director of LRE North Rhine-Westphalia and board member of LRE Germany, and Peter Kruk introduced the Liberation Route Europe project, followed by an interesting speech on the concept of “liberation” by Dr Heiko Suhr (City of Wesel Archives and board member of LRE Germany). Dr Suhr illustrated the various stages of the WWII memory-building process in Germany, pointing out that there is no single liberation experience, neither in Europe nor in any single country. At the same time, he explained “Liberation makes a common remembering in Europe possible […] and creates one of the foundations for a united Europe”. The Vogelsang outreach event concluded with attendees participating in three thematic round tables about future developments of LREF projects.
Upcoming outreach events
This round of outreach activities doesn’t end here! Four more are scheduled for the coming weeks.
Following one in Portsmouth and later Lincoln earlier this year, on 24th March the Churchill War Rooms in London will host the third outreach event in the UK. The goal of this event is to involve future key stakeholders in the country and raise awareness to the creation and aims of the LRE hiking trails project and the UK national branch, LRE UK.
Another outreach event will take place in the Netherlands on 29th March, this time in Huyskamer De Daaltjeshoeve in Nederweert. Limburg Marketing is organising this meeting in collaboration with Routebureau Noord- en Midden-Limburg and Visit Zuid-Limburg to promote the Liberation Route Hiking Trails in Limburg.
On 30th March it is Belgium’s turn: an outreach event will be organised at the Bastogne War Museum in collaboration with asbl Bastogne Memorial to present the Liberation Route Europe project in the Ardennes to political representatives, institutional actors, and associations involved in remembrance tourism both in Belgium and Luxembourg.
Finally, on 19th April, the LRE Foundation will be in France with its national branch for an outreach event at La Coupole Museum.
We are pleased to see the enthusiastic responses of many European regions to the Liberation Route Europe Hiking and Cycling Trails project, and to see our network expanding across Europe.
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