The LRE Conference is an important element of the LRE Forum, with which we hope to inform, inspire and connect. Held on Thursday, February 7th, 2019, it reunited all of the LRE’s members, network, stakeholders, and the general public at Claridge, in Brussels, Belgium. With every conference we aim to give an update on the LRE’s activities, to inform participants about upcoming projects, and to provide interesting in-depth presentations and panel discussions, which we did. Take a look below to see the speakers and programme.

With the current passing of the last eyewitnesses of the war, the interplay between history and memory has become even more significant. As such, the conference aims to inspire further work and forge innovative directions in keeping the memory of the Second World War alive – now, and for the future. One of the key goals of the Conference is to articulate how past historical events still have a fundamental impact on the issues in the present day. By bringing together stakeholders from a variety of disciplines, it has become a space where the legacies of World War II can be debated in light of contemporary political, social, and cultural realities.

From engaging historians like Prof. Dr. Sönke Neitzel, to high-level politicians like Frans Timmermans, the LRE Conference invites dynamic speakers, and offers attendees the opportunity to engage and participate in important debates surrounding historical memory, the legacies of Word War II, and contemporary issues related to both.

The LRE is also a network organization, and one of the key goals of the Conference is the opportunity to connect with a large range of international partners, all working on WWII heritage. Consisting of museums, tourism boards, tour operators, travel service providers, governments, veteran organization, WWII heritage organizations, European Parliament members, and universities, and many other organizations.

09:00am to 09:30am    

09:30 am to 09:45am   


09.45am to 10:30am



10:30am to 10:50am

10:50pm to 12:30pm   








12:30pm to 13:30pm   

13:30pm to 15:30pm   






15:30pm to 16:00pm     

16:00pm to 17:00pm   

17:00pm to 18:00pm 


Registration and Coffee

Welcome Introduction

Welcome words by moderator, Mr. Rémi Praud, LRE Foundation Managing Director

Introduction by Ms. Victoria van Krieken, LRE Foundation Chairwoman

Keynote Presentation

Mr. Martin Schulz, Member of the German Bundestag, former President of the European Parliament, Patron of the LRE Foundation

Q&A with the audience

Coffee Break

Session 1: Have we Remembered to Forget? Explaining Europe’s Current Political Challenges through the Legacies of the War.

From the rise of populist radical right movements and of antisemitism throughout Europe to the passing of controversial memory laws, the political upheavals of Europe’s recent past have direct links to World War II. Whether implicit – or explicit in certain cases, as Emmanuel Macron’s recent comments on Philippe Pétain prove – this period in history still shapes our perceptions of contemporary issues. Where can we position ourselves when acts of remembrance and forgiveness, such as Norway’s official apology to the “German girls” who had relationships with Nazi soldiers during World War II, occur in the same week as a march in Predappio commemorates Benito Mussolini’s rise to power 96 years ago?

Moderator: Mr. Jean-Paul Marthoz, journalist and writer

Prof. Włodzimierz Borodziej, historian

Prof. Richard Overy, historian

Prof. Mirco Carrattieri, historian

Lunch Break 

Session 2: The Shape of Memory: The Art of Transmitting the Past

Architecture, literature, television and visual arts: all these disciplines play a unique role in articulating how the memory of World War II is understood. As cultural creators, disseminators, or mediators, those who craft this “shape of memory,” use a number of approaches and face a variety of unique challenges. From conceptualizing of markers for a remembrance trail, designing a museum space, to acting in a World War II-era production, what elements are brought forward? Furthermore, how are these issues approached through the lens of technology? From the simple act of colourising an image, storytelling through innovate visual and audio techniques, to building an entirely virtual world in a video game, how are our perceptions of memory altered by the forms in which we interact with them?

Moderator: Mrs. Pauline Broekema, journalist and writer

Christophe Gaeta, scenographer and museologist

Sytze van der Laan, film producer and studio director


Session 3: Europe Remembers Campaign,  the LRE International Hiking Trail & 75th anniversary after WWII

Moderator: Mr. Rémi Praud, LRE Foundation Managing Director

Jurriaan de Mol, LRE Founder

Sandrine Fanget, Normandy Region Tourism department

Femke Kleijn, Brabant Remembers, Visit Brabant

Franky Bostyn (TBC), War Heritage Institute

Closing Cocktail

Martin Schulz was born on 20 December 1955 and grew up in Hehlrath Germany, close to the German-Dutch-Belgian borders. After high school, he decided to try to make a living out of his passion for books and he did an apprenticeship as a bookseller. In 1982 he opened his own bookstore in Würselen, which he successfully ran for 12 years. Joining the Social Democratic Party of Germany at the age of 19, he started out his political career. Aged 31, he was elected as the youngest mayor of North Rhine-Westphalia, a post he held for 11 years. Since 1994, Martin Schulz is a Member of the European Parliament and has served in a number of committees, first serving on the sub-committee on Human Rights and then on the Committee on Civil Liberties and Home Affairs. He led the SPD MEPs from 2000 and was subsequently elected Vice-Chair of the Socialist MEPs. In 2004 he was elected group leader of the second largest group in the European Parliament. As leader of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, Martin Schulz campaigned for social justice, promoting jobs and growth, reforming financial markets, fighting climate change, championing equality and creating a stronger and more democratic Europe. Martin Schulz was elected President of the European Parliament on 17 January 2012 for a mandate of two and half years with 387 votes and held the position till 2017. Martin Schulz is the patron of Liberation Route Europe Foundation.


Jean-Paul Marthoz is a Belgian journalist and writer. He is a columnist for Le Soir (Brussels) and teaches international journalism at the Université Catholique de Louvain. He is the author of Couvrir les migrations (Reporting migration, 2013) and Terrorism and the Media: A Handbook for Journalists (UNESCO, 2017). He has been European press director for Human Rights Watch and EU correspondent for the Committee to Protect Journalists.


Włodzimierz Borodziej is a Polish historian and writer specializing in contemporary European history with a particular focus on Polish-German relations. Borodziej is a professor of humanistic sciences and former protector of the Warsaw University. Włodzimierz Borodziej is the son of Lieutenant-Colonel Wiktor Borodziej (1929–2004) from the former Polish secret police Służba Bezpieczeństwa. Discussion of his father and his involvement with the secret operation Żelazo (Iron) against political targets in Western Europe, has caused some controversy in Polish academia, as some commentators see it as irrelevant, and an attempt to discredit his son’s work due to family background. Work

Borodziej is the author of The Warsaw Uprising of 1944 published in Polish, German and English. In his book he paints a complex picture of the everyday life in the embattled city, describes the Home Army operations, as well as supply situation and medical challenges in the capital.


Pauline Broekema (Groningen, June 29, 1954) is a journalist and writer. She grew up in the city of Groningen. Immediately after high school, she opted for journalism. Since 1984 she has been editor-reporter at NOS News. In 2012 Broekema, together with Prof. Paul Sars, made an exhibition for the National Liberation Museum 1944-1945 in Groesbeek about the Dutch singer and a member of resistance Diet Kloos and the poet Paul Celan. Het Boschhuis, one of Broekema’s most prominent books, was published in 2014. More than ten thousand copies of the well-renowned family chronicle have since been sold.


Christophe Gaeta is a Mons-based scenographer. He is active in the design and realization of exhibitions, shows, and museums since 1994. Gaeta is involved in designing museum projects and coordinating them until their effective realization, artistic director of the projects, museology, scenography, development of the schedules of realization and coordination of the various actors of the artistic process.


Sytze van der Laan is a Dutch film producer and studio director. Van der Laan started his career as a film critic and screenwriter. After a Master’s degree in scriptwriting and production at the School of Cinematic Arts of the University of Southern California, he started his career in Germany with Gemini Film as a producer for film and TV. His film ‘My Friend Joe’ was a winner at the Berlinale children’s film festival in 1996. From 1996 to 2002, Van der Laan was director of the Cologne Film Pool. In 2002 he became production director of Germany’s largest film and TV studio, Studio Hamburg. Under his leadership, Studio Hamburg Produktion won an Emmy Award for Best Comedy Series ( Berlin, Berlin ), produced ‘ The Three Investigators’ and the Patricia Highsmith film ‘The Cry of the Owl’. Van der Laan is a member of the Dutch Academy For Film (DAFF), the Deutsche Filmakademie, the European Film Academy and the European Producers Club.


Peter Caddick-Adams is a lecturer in military history and current defense issues at the UK Defence Academy. He is the author of Monte Cassino: Ten Armies in Hell and Monty and Rommel: Parallel Lives. He holds the rank of major in the British Territorial Army and has served with U.S. forces in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan.


Sandrine Fanget graduated in Political Sciences and Local Development Strategy. She has been in charge of tourism in Normandy for 15 years and was also the project manager for the preparation of the Seventieth Anniversary of the D-Day for the Basse-Normandie Region.


Franky Bostyn is a historian specialized in the war history of the Westhoek, about which he published dozens of books and articles. He is one of the founders of archaeological research on ancient battlefields.


Richard Overy is a British historian who has published extensively on the history of World War II and the Third Reich. Overy’s Research interests include the history of the Hitler and Stalin dictatorships, the Second World War, air power in the twentieth century, German history from c 1900. In 2007 as The Times editor of Complete History of the World he chose the 50 key dates of world history.


Mirco Carrattieri collaborates with Istituto Nazionale “Ferruccio Parri” in Milan and University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. He has been president of Istoreco from 2009 to 2015. He coordinates the editorial staff of “E-Review “. He is the chairman of the Resistance Museum in Montefiorino. He got a Ph.D. in Political History of the Contemporary Age at the University of Bologna; and he got grants at EHESS in Paris, at Fondazione Luigi Salvatorelli in Marsciano (PG), at Fondazione Gorrieri in Modena, at Fondazione Basso in Rome. He is involved in the history of historiography, local history, and public history.


Jurriaan de Mol has been Director of Business Development & Operations since October 2016. Before he joined NBTC he worked as Managing Director at Regionaal Bureau voor Toerisme Arnhem Nijmegen (‘regional tourism agency for Arnhem and Nijmegen’, RBT KAN). Prior to this, he held positions at VVV Rotterdam, KLM, Golden Tulip Hotels and Den Haag Marketing. He was also the initiator of the Liberation Route Europe, a route that links various Second World War memorials throughout Europe, and was responsible for initiating several partnerships, including VisitVeluwe and Toerisme Gelderland. He studied at the Hotelschool The Hague.


Victoria Van Krieken has been the Managing Director of the Liberation Route Europe Foundation from its creation in January 2013 until January 2018. She is now the Chairwoman of the International Supervisory Board as well as Director of LIberation Route Netherlands.


Rémi Praud is the Managing Director of the Liberation Route Europe Foundation since February 2018. He joined the Foundation in March 2014, as Development and Programs Manager and later became its Deputy Director in January 2016. After his studies in Lyon at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques and an MA in European Affairs, he moved to Brussels to work in relation to the European Institutions. Before joining the LRE Foundation, he was representing the Lower-Normandy Region in Brussels. Rémi is also a visiting lecturer at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques of Lyon since 2014 where he teaches about European funding programs.

Please go to the page of the 2020 edition of the LRE Conference for more information about how to register.

The LRE Conference was held at the Claridge, in Brussels, Belgium, on Thursday February 7, 2019.

Address: Chaussée de Louvain 24, 1210 Brussels.

Any questions relating to the LRE Conference?
Please feel free to contact Scott Durno, event officer:


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