In the week leading up to the annual International Holocaust Remembrance Day, on 22 January, EFFORTS – the European Federation of Fortified Sites and Defence Lines, including its associate member FORTE CULTURA e.V., signed, with the LRE Foundation, a Memorandum of Understanding, establishing the EFFORTS/ FORTE CULTURA e.V. – LRE cooperation in the remembrance of WWII detention and concentration camps in fortified heritage sites in Europe.
Rémi Praud, managing director LRE Foundation, said this about the cooperation: “Historical military structures, baring precious testimony to the collective memory, represent
a unique expression of Europe’s difficult heritage. Fortified heritage sites embrace Europe’s shared memory and war victims remembrance actions. The presently established cooperation gives us the opportunity to strengthen WWII intercultural and international dialogue and reconciliation, the goal of the Liberation Route Europe Foundation. The 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp therefore is a moment to reflect on the past and look towards the future.”
In addition, Dr. Frank Petter, EFFORTS president and mayor of Gemeente Bergen op Zoom, commented: “WW II remembrance has become increasingly important with the passing of the last living witnesses and the need of educating Europe’s youth on WWII, its suffering and the liberation effort to free Europe from oppression. In Gemeente Bergen op Zoom, as in dozens of European cities and remembrance sites, we must keep the memory alive and I am happy that together with LRE can work together on this in the future”.
Both organisations will present to their members the possibilities of cooperation within the EFFORTS and LRE networks. As a first action, a joint conference will be organised in the fall of 2021, uniting EFFORTS and Forte Cultura, together with LRE members and other invited sites, and setting a stage for further cooperation and holocaust and war memory actions.