The cross-border European Region Viadrina is a REMEMBRANCE LANDSCAPE of special value, in which the 20th century in particular has left deep scars. The ravages of the Third Reich, the Second World War and the subsequent forced migrations for millions of Poles and Germans are visible and kept alive in many places. Afterwards, the Cold War put its marks on the landscape and finally, the peaceful process of European unification is creating new places of remembrance. But centuries before, this region has also formed a cultural heritage worth remembering that must not be lost.
The Seelow Heights Memorial, the Slonsk Martyrdom Museum or the destroyed old town of Küstrin/Kostrzyn are just as important places of remembrance as sites of Prussian traces, industrialisation, land reclamation through drainage or natural disasters. The former border crossing point Küstrin/Kostrzyn tells the recent history of Europe.
With the funding project "Places of Remembrance Oder-Warta", the project partners City of Seelow (lead partner), City of Kostrzyn nad Odra and Municipality of Słońsk pursued the goal of jointly maintaining and strengthening the unique landscape of remembrance in the Oder-Warta region and also enhancing it as a special feature for tourism. The measures planned in the project should, among other things, strengthen and complement the tourist offers of existing memorial sites, link them thematically and market them nationally under a new cross-border tourist brand. In this way, the market presence and visitor effectiveness of all sites will be increased, with economic effects for those involved.
In joint cross-border project work, various outputs were realised:
Cross-border tourist brand
Around 200 places of remembrance in the Oder-Warta Region offer individual and multi-layered insights into the eventful regional history. Taken together, they have great potential for sustainable tourism offers with international appeal. The Oder-Warthe region should be understood as a common, cross-border historical cultural space. The special feature of the project was to promote the exchange of the different memory-cultural perspectives of Germany, Poland and internationally.
As a multi-perspective remembrance landscape for the special history of the German-Polish border region, especially from 1944 onwards, the Oder-Warthe Region offers unique and authentic destinations for educational and remembrance tourism, cultural tours, exchange and dialogue. "The common concern and content guideline of the new brand can be traced back to the statement "remembrance connects". The goal is a common peaceful future and a deeper mutual understanding.
Cross-border network of places of remembrance
Places of remembrance, monuments and museums actively cooperate within the framework of a common regional brand to create a shared space for remembrance, encounter and discovery that supports a better understanding of the multi-layered worlds of remembrance on both sides of the border and openly transports them to the outside world.
Further project outputs:
- Analysis and categorisation of memorial sites in the Oder-Warthe region
- Construction of a joint database
- Meeting, exchange, transregional networking and cooperation
- Development of multilingual marketing tools (travel guide, image brochure, flyers, posters, roll-up displays, website).
Three new places of encounter and remembrance.
In the project, three historic buildings were also renovated in order to preserve the buildings and put them to new uses. Three new tourist contact points were created for the cultural tourism brand "Remembrance connects", through which visitors can be informed and directed to the region.
The investment projects complement each other and create a new quality in active experiencing and learning, documenting and communicating about the region's recent history. This is aimed above all at younger generations with changed communication behaviour and new demands for information transfer.
ECCOFORT developed the tourist brand "Remembrance connects" Oder-Warta on behalf of the city of Seelow.
Das Projekt wird gefördert durch den Europäischen Fonds für regionale Entwicklung, Kooperationsprogramm für grenzüberschreitende Zusammenarbeit (INTERREG VA BB-PL 2014-2020). Lead-Partner ist die Stadt Seelow. Die Projektlaufzeit endet voraussichtlch im Dezember 2021.