Liberation Route Europe Launched at D Day Commemorations

June 11, 2014

- In 2014, the world commemorates the 70th anniversaries of significant military manouevres during the liberation of Europe including the D Day Landings at Normandy and Operation Market Garden in Holland. On June 6th, 2014, the Dutch initiative Liberation Route Europe was officially launched in Arromanches, France and became a transnational route. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Dutch Minister of Defence officially opened the commemoration event at Arromanches, which was also attended by The Dutch King and Queen and Prime Minister Rutte.

The Liberation Route Europe is a continuously growing, international remembrance trail that connects important milestones from modern European history and reaches across national borders. The Liberation Route Europe began in 2008 as a regional initiative in the province of Gelderland, Holland.

The route forms a link between the main regions along the Western Allied Forces’ advance from southern England, to the beaches of Normandy, Paris, the Belgian Ardennes, Brabant, Arnhem, Nijmegen, the Hürtgen Forest and on to Berlin. The route then continues to the Polish city of Gdansk, where a democratic revolution for overcoming the division of Europe was launched nearly two generations later. It focuses on the liberation of continental Europe from the Nationalist Socialist occupation, and specifically, the long-lasting consequences of World War II.

The Liberation Route Europe provides the chance to discover and experience the route that the Allied Forces took during the final phase of World War II. The trail connects locations and places of remembrance to stories. Stories from soldiers and citizens, told from different perspectives. The aim of route is to make this core part of European history more visible and accessible for visitors all over the world.

Victoria Van Krieken, Director, Liberation Route Europe said at the launch: “The international expansion of the route, which started as a project in 2008 in the Netherlands, is no coincidence. On this historical day, we are standing at a historical location. Arromanches is part of the Liberation Route Europe. As a foundation we think it is very important to show the world that no-one can take freedom for granted. We have paid a high price for a free Europe. With the Liberation Route Europe we can connect historical locations and keep the history alive.”

Notes to Editors

  • From June 6th, 2014, people all over the world can experience the route through a new, interactive website and route app in five languages – English, Dutch, German, Polish and French.

  • Through the route, an international connection of places of remembrance, organisations and people arises who all will contribute to telling the story about the liberation and the importance of freedom.

  • The stories within the Liberation Route Europe will be told from different perspectives. The stories will be told simultaneously – not in opposition but in parallel.

  • The Liberation Route Europe is presented not only as a remembrance and touristic route, but above all as a special tribute to honorable veterans, as well as a symbol of international cooperation and reconciliation.

The history of the Liberation Route

In 2007, an intern at the Airborne Museum ‘Hartenstein’ in Oosterbeek, Holland, received the task of intensifying the relationships between the many war museums in the Arnhem-Nijmegen area and South Veluwe region, and the regions´ various battlefields. His report made its way to the Regional Tourist Office Arnhem Nijmegen (RBTKAN), and it was used in 2008 to establish the Liberation Route in Holland. The first audio spots and audio stories were opened in this area; one that played a pivotal role in the history of the allied advance.

The audio spots consist of boulders marking the locations of the events that took place during the war. Visitors can listen to audio stories at www.liberationroute.com. These are personal stories about what that happened at those specific locations during the liberation. More audio spots soon followed and in 2011, the Liberation Route Europe Foundation was established for the further development of the Liberation Route.
For more information, please contact:
Briana Papa, PR Manager North America
Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions
bpapa@holland.com
www.holland.com