Europe Remembers in Sicily for the 80th Anniversary of the Allied Landings

July 9 marked the significant milestone of 80 years since the Allied troops launched the landings in Sicily, signalling the start of the Italian campaign and the liberation of Europe from Nazi and Fascist control. On the occasion of this historic event, the LRE Foundation was in Sicily, presenting the new Europe Remembers campaign in Licata and attending numerous commemorative events.

Building on the success of the previous edition, which honoured the 75th anniversary of the end of the war, Europe Remembers is back with new communication and activation campaigns. These initiatives aim to promote and raise awareness about the rich history and heritage of WWII alongside the upcoming commemorative events and exhibitions spanning across Europe.   

To lay the groundwork for the new campaign, the LRE Foundation was in Sicily the second week of July, actively participating in a variety of events and commemorative ceremonies centred on the Allied Landings. Moreover, the LREF team visited museums and historical locations that are inextricably related to the end of WWII with the aim of shooting videos and creating content for the Europe Remembers online campaign. Among these important sites are the Catania Landing Museum, the German War Cemetery Motta St. Anastasia, and the Catania and Syracuse Commonwealth War Cemeteries, which tell the story of the landings in Sicily and the sacrifices made by many to regain the lost freedom.  

The Europe Remembers campaign was presented in Licata on July 10 during a special event organized by the municipality of Licata, the association Memento, and the Archaeological and Landscape Park of the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento.   

Watch the new video about the Allied landings in Sicily on Europe Remember’s social media and follow the campaign on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter to stay up to date! 

LRE Foundation signs Memorandums of Understanding with Cranwell Aviation Heritage Museum and Lincolnshire Ramblers (UK)

As the LRE UK national branch continues to grow, we are pleased to welcome two new partners: Cranwell Aviation Heritage Museum and Lincolnshire Ramblers! Both organisations are based in Lincolnshire, where we are developing a new section of the Liberation Route Europe Trails highlighting the countys rich Second World War aviation history. 

Cranwell Aviation Heritage Museum is a superb location to learn about the history of RAF Cranwell, a nearby Royal Air Force base which played a key role during the War. With aircraft to view, a simulator, and many artefacts and exhibits, the museum offers an engaging way to learn about aviation history. The first step in our collaboration will be the integration of the museum into the Liberation Route Europe Trails network, which will pass through the village of Cranwell, signposting visitors to the museum. 

“As an area very much at the heart of the mission to liberate Europe through airborne operations, I am very proud and pleased that the District will be a part of this Europe-wide project to remember the past, to create a better future.”, says Cllr Richard Wright, Leader of North Kesteven District Council which operates Cranwell Aviation Heritage Museum. “Cranwell Aviation Heritage Museum acts as a focal point for North Kesteven’s rich aviation heritage and celebrates more than a century of training at the adjacent RAF College Cranwell of many prestigious airmen who were very much a part of that liberation journey. The museum is a very proud partner in this exciting project. With Cranwell at its south, the International Bomber Command Centre at the north and an extensive trail of historic and still-operational airfields in between – many of them Bomber Command bases in support of the Liberation advance – the extent of North Kesteven’s aviation heritage is unsurpassed.”  

Lincolnshire Area Ramblers, part of The Ramblers, a UK national walking and campaigning charity, are an invaluable partner in the development of the Lincolnshire Liberation Route. Their support and expertise in connecting local sites of interest via the best hiking trails are hugely appreciated, given the county’s vast network of trails and roads. Thanks to their local knowledge, walkers will be able to explore the local Second World War history as they pass through the wonderful Lincolnshire countryside. 

“Lincolnshire Ramblers are proud to be a partner with the LRE Foundation. Lincolnshire has many locations with connections to the Second World War conflict and the newly-devised trail will link many of these, bringing to life the realities of the war. It will also give visitors the opportunity to explore the delights of Lincolnshire, with its golden beaches, beautiful countryside and attractive market towns.” – Geoff Mullett, Chair of Lincolnshire Ramblers. 

The new Europe Remembers event registration platform is online!

We are excited to announce the launch of the new Europe Remembers collaborative web platform aimed to bring together a diverse range of events and commemorations linked to the 80th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. With a user-friendly interface and streamlined process, event organisers can now easily upload their event details to the platform for them to be displayed and promoted on the Europe Remembers website.

Europe Remembers returns with a brand-new website and communication campaign to raise awareness around the 80th anniversary of the end of World War II, remembering the lessons it imparted and promoting the many commemorations and events organised around Europe. Building on the success of the previous edition for the 75th anniversary, the campaign will kick off in July 2023, on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the Landings in Sicily. From there, Europe Remembers will continue throughout 2024 and 2025, when commemorations for the 80th anniversary of the end of the war will take place.

The Europe Remembers collaborative website, which will be launched in July, is one of the pillars of the initiative and aims to become a one-stop destination for the public to find information about the events that will take place across Europe, which might be hard to find juggling between various websites and different languages. In addition to offering an overview of commemorations and exhibitions, the website will also provide a wealth of inspiring content related to remembrance sites, stories, and news connected to WWII memory and cultural heritage.

The newly launched registration platform is a first step in the direction of building a collaborative and international community around the memory of WWII. The platform offers cultural organisations and institutions dedicated to this topic an easy way to add their events on the website, where they will be made accessible to a wide international audience. In addition to basic visibility, project partners and campaign supporters will receive dedicated promotional tools, and their events will receive special promotional attention on the website.

To register your organisation and/or your events, click here.

If you would like to join us or organise your own Europe Remembers campaign, contact us at europe-remembers@lre-foundation.orgFor more information, visit our website

Two press trips to promote the Liberation Route Europe

Between the end of April and the beginning of May, the LRE Foundation, with the help of Bart Giepmans from Eastbound PR, organised two press trips to promote the Liberation Route Europe. Journalists from various newspapers in Germany, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Spain, and the Netherlands took part in the two journeys. 

The first press trip began on April 23 in Portsmouth, where the group, guided by LRE UK Director Ben Mayne, visited museums such as the LRE Foundation member D-Day Story, memorials, and landmarks associated with the preparation for D-Day on the Liberation Route hiking trail connecting London and Southampton. The journalists then travelled to Normandy with LRE France Director Isabelle Lebreton to visit some of the sites on the D-Day beaches-themed route, including the Juno Beach Centre and the D-Day Landings Museum in Arromanches, among others. The trip concluded on April 28 in Jersey, where Visit Jersey and Jersey Heritage welcomed the group that had a chance to visit some of the main sites along the two Liberation Route Europe themed routes on the island. 

The second press trip took the journalists on a historical tour of the Luxembourg and Belgian Ardennes, visiting sites connected with the Liberation Route Europe themed route dedicated to the Battle of the Bulge, including the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial, the National Museum of Military History in Diekirch and the Bastogne War Museum.  This second trip concluded on May 5 in Germany, where the group visited some parts of the Battle of the Hürtgen Forest themed route, such as the Vogelsang Complex, as well as some points of interest in Remagen.

“The two press trips, which were funded by the German Foreign Office, were an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of the Liberation Route Europe project and the values it represents.” says Gert-Jan Jacobs, LREF Press and Communication Advisor, “We are grateful for the LRE Foundation network’s collaboration in supporting such cultural and tourism initiatives. A special mention goes to the guides that took us along the route, their contribution was crucial for the realisation of these trips. We hope that the media attention generated by these press trips will introduce the Liberation Route Europe to new audiences from a broad range of countries.” 

We would like to express our appreciation to our partners who provided support throughout these trips: The D-Day Story, Brittany Ferries, Normandie Tourisme, Région Normandie, Visit Jersey, Jersey Heritage, Juno Beach Centre, the Luxembourg General Directorate for Tourism, the National Museum of Military History in Diekirch, the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial, Bastogne War Museum, the Vogelsang complex,  Remagen.

SAVE THE DATE | The LRE Forum 2024 will take place in Aachen, Germany, from 26-29 February

Following the resounding success of the LRE Forum 2023 in Florence, we are pleased to announce that the LRE Forum 2024, co-organised by the LRE Foundation along with LRE Germany and LRE NRW, will be held from 26-29 February in Aachen, Germany. With its rich history and significance during WWII, Aachen is the ideal setting for the LRE Foundation’s annual gathering.

The LRE Forum brings together LRE Foundation members, partners, and tourism stakeholders from around the world for a variety of exciting activities to share innovative ideas and best practices. The event provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity for all attendees to learn from one another, network, and develop new collaborations.

The LRE Forum 2024 will kick off with a get-together event on Monday 26th February, followed by a jam-packed schedule of events and activities. During the course of the forum, attendees will have the chance to delve into the possibilities of the remembrance sector by attending talks and panel discussions led by prominent experts. They will also have the opportunity to meet with other LREF members and partners, share experiences, and receive updates from the Foundation. Furthermore, the LRE Forum 2024 will present excellent opportunities for networking with travel trade stakeholders and exploring some of the most influential locations, museums, and memorials linked to Aachen’s WWII history.

Mark your calendars for the LRE Forum 2024 in Aachen, Germany, and get ready to share innovative ideas, and best practices with other like-minded professionals. Keep an eye on our website for more information and updates.

The LRE Foundation holds outreach events throughout Europe

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. 

Krakow, Poland 

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. 

Vogelsang, Germany 

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 NederweertLimburg 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.  

Follow us on social media to stay up to date on the upcoming outreach events! 

LRE Forum 2023: a look back at this very special edition!

Two weeks ago, the LRE Forum 2023, organised by the LRE Foundation and LRE Italy with the contribution and patronage of Regione Toscana and Toscana Promozione Turistica, was held in the picturesque city of Florence. For three days, events and activities brought together a variety of international members and partners of the organising institutions, as well as tourism stakeholders from across the World War II remembrance sector. 

We are extremely grateful for the considerable turnout at all the Forum events. Indeed, one of the main goals of the LRE Foundation is to bring together international WWII memory stakeholders to facilitate international cooperation and multi-perspective discussion on WWII history and remembrance. It makes us proud to see that this goal was reflected in our annual gathering. 

The welcome cocktail

The LRE Forum 2023 began on Thursday 28th February, with a welcome cocktail on the B-roof, the famous Hotel Baglioni’s rooftop. This beautiful venue welcomed us with one of Florence’s most breath-taking views. Rémi Praud, LREF Managing Director, and Carlo Puddu. LRE Italy Director, greeted all LREF members and partners with welcome speeches, officially opening the LRE Forum 2023.

The Member Seminar 

The Member Seminar began the following day at the Auditorium al Duomo. During the first part of the event, Rémi Praud and his team spoke to LREF members and partners about the LREF Governance and Network, discussing the latest news on the Foundation’s National Branches, the Member Council, and the LRE Guide Network. The LRE Foundation Team, alongside project partners’ representatives, then provided updates on some of the most important LREF projects, including the Liberation Route Europe Hiking Trails, Europe Remembers, the LRE Youth Programme, and “Resistance Through Their Eyes” project. Later, some members and partners presented their organisations’ best practices and most recent news. Finally, Jordi Guixé, Scientific Director of the European Observatory on Memories, led a thematic session on the diverse challenges of WWII Memory in Europe. 

The LRE Conference 

That same afternoon, the LRE Conference welcomed more than 110 participants from all over Europe and North America. The event was moderated by British author and historian, Keith Lowe, and opened with a keynote speech by Georgiy Kasianov, Head of the Laboratory of International Memory Studies at Maria Curie-Skodowska University in Lublin. Professor Kasianov spoke about the use and abuse of WWII Memory and its repercussions in the Ukraine Region, in Europe, and globally. 

This speech was followed by a panel debate on the complex relationship between nationalism and WWII memory. The panel featured Áron Máthé, Deputy Chair of the Committee of National Remembrance of Hungary, Guri Schwarz, Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Genoa, Jade McGlynn, researcher at the Department of War Studies, Kings College, and Kees Ribbens, Professor at the Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies in Amsterdam. It was fascinating to hear various approaches and points of view on such a complex subject. 

For the second part of the LRE Conference, the main topic was the political pressures that museum curators and museologists must contend with in order to frame WWII memory in a particular way. The panel discussion included current and former museum directors such as Gundula Bavendamm, Director of the Documentation Centre for Displacement, Expulsion, and Reconciliation in Berlin, Paweł Machcewicz, Professor at the Institute of Political Studies in Warsaw, and Kaja Širok, researcher at the University of Nova Gorica’s School of Humanities. 

To conclude the conference, Keith Lowe interviewed Katrin Himmler, German author, Political Scientist and great-niece of Heinrich Himmler, head of Hitler’s SS. During the interview she discussed how crucial it was for her to confront her family’s story honestly, how her research changed her perspective on her relatives, and the significance of her work with students and young people. 

The Gala Dinner 

The second day of the LRE Forum 2023 concluded with a Gala dinner at the luxurious Palazzo Borghese. The stunning palace halls formed the ideal setting for presenting and welcoming the LRE Foundation’s new members and partners, networking, and enjoying each other’s company over some delicious Italian cuisine. 

The LREXPO and Site Visits 

On 2nd March, the LRE Forum 2023 continued with the annual thematic trade show, the LREXPO, allowing Foundation members and partners to connect and showcase their destinations to international tour operators and travel trade stakeholders. The EXPO was followed by the first part of the site visits. Participants visited the Museo Gotica Ponzalla at Giogo Pass, and then a surprisingly snowy Futa Pass for a visit to the German Military Cemetery. The weather made for an atmospheric visit, imagining the troops enduring so much in similar conditions during WWII. On the second day of site visits, participants had the opportunity to see the Florence American Cemetery, explore the Military Geographical Institute Florence, and participate in a Florence WW2 City Tour. 

FAM Trips 

Aside from site visits, FAM trips were organised for both European and North American tour operators. Following the Italy part of the FAM trip, which included visits to the Florence American Cemetery, the  Museum of Memory in Borgo a Mozzano, Lucca, and the Gotica Ponzalla Museum, tour operators from the United States and Canada then continued the trip from to the Netherlands and Belgium. Here they were greeted by several museums, hotels, and attractions along the Liberation Route Europe. This extended FAM trip was organised in collaboration with the European Travel Commission (co-funded by the European Union) and included visits to the Liberation Garden Museum in Leopoldsburg, Geronimo Museum, Fletcher Hotel Erica, the Canadian War Cemetery and Freedom Museum in Groesbeek, the beautiful Kröller-Müller Museum, and Gemeente Apeldoorn. 

We would like to express our gratitude to all attendees and supporters for helping to make this edition of the LRE Forum particularly special. We sincerely hope you had as wonderful of a time in Florence as we did, and that you returned home feeling inspired by the events and armed with fresh perspectives on how to raise awareness of World War II and make history more approachable to a wider audience. 

LRE UK hosts first outreach event in Portsmouth: an opportunity to involve local stakeholders in the UK section of the LRE Hiking Trails network

On Wednesday 18 January the UK branch of the LRE Foundation held its first UK outreach event in Portsmouth, southern England. This was an exciting opportunity to present the UK section of the Liberation Route Europe Hiking Trails project to local stakeholders and potential members, and to hear their feedback. It is the first of three outreach events in the UK this year, with two more taking place in Lincoln and London in the coming months. 

The event was hosted by Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and organised by Ben Mayne, Director of LRE UK, and Emme Johnson, Project Officer, LRE Foundation. BBC Broadcaster and Speaker, Dave Sharpe, was MC of the event, and together they presented the LRE Foundation, its partners, work and projects in an interactive and informative session. A key focus was the LRE Hiking Trails project, and after highlighting the progress so far in the trails network being developed in the county of Hampshire, they invited stakeholders to ask questions and discuss how they can be involved.

Following this, a panel discussion between four panellists, each representing a different sectordiscussed the benefits of the project, how it can support the local area, and the impact it could have. Sharing their insights and specialist knowledge with the audience, they demonstrated the multidiscipline approach of the Foundation and project, and the variety of interests and backgrounds of those involved. The panellists included: 

  • Caroline Barrie-Smith, Head of Audience Engagement at Museum of London Archaeology & involved in CITiZAN project on coastal erosion 
  • Dr Victoria Humphreys, Author & Battlefield Guide 
  • Ross Fairbrother, General Manager at The D-Day Story Museum, and LRE UK member 
  • Robert James, Senior Lecturer in Cultural and Social History, University of Portsmouth 

The UK section of the LRE Hiking Trails project is still in its initial phases, however the network will cover the North, East and West of Hampshire, and is simultaneously being developed in Lincolnshire. Another outreach event will be held at the International Bomber Command Centre (an LRE UK member) in Lincoln in February, with a third taking place at the Churchill War Rooms in London in March. 

“The UK has a lot to offer the Liberation Route Europe Hiking Trail project, and the new routes will enable many people to explore the stunning countryside, fascinating stories, and unique historical sites and museums.”, said Ben Mayne, LRE UK Director, “Designed as a sustainable tourism product, the network aims to help drive positive tourism across multiple counties and contribute to the local economy. We are excited to be progressing with the route and look forward to the exciting developments to come!” 

LRE UK joins the LRE Foundation team and other national branches for a three-day seminar

After months of online meetings due to the pandemic, in December LRE UK Director, Ben Mayne, joined the LRE Foundation and the other national branches’ teams to meet in person for three days of seminars, discussions and exchange of ideas in the Netherlands.

The meeting provided an opportunity for the LRE Foundation 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 Programmes. 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.