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 "Sites of Remembrance Oder-Warthe", the project partners City of Seelow (lead partner), City of Kostrzyn nad Odra and Municipality of Slonsk pursue the goal of jointly maintaining and strengthening the unique landscape of remembrance in the European Region Viadrina or Oder-Warthe Region and to also valorise it as a special feature for tourism.
Memory here refers to three temporal epochs:
- the "common historical cultural space" on both sides of the Oder,
- the "space of fate" of the inhumane Nazi era and its consequences, and
- the "space of discovery and togetherness" as a new beginning in peaceful neighbourliness towards a united Europe.
Three investment projects (railway station Seelow (Mark) in Seelow, former cultural house in Slonsk and Villa Wagner in Kostrzyn nad Odra) will expand the experience of memorials and create a cross-border link between documentation, communication and action. This will create new tourist contact points for the cultural tourism brand, 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.
The primary project goal is to increase the number of visitors to the Oder-Warthe cultural region by developing and networking cross-border tourist offers on the topic of "memorial sites".
The measures planned in the project are intended, among other things, to strengthen, supplement and thematically network the tourist offers of existing memorial sites and to market them nationally under the new cross-border tourist brand "Sites of Remembrance Oder-Warthe". This will increase the market presence and visitor impact of all sites, with economic effects for the participants. ECCOFORT is developing the tourist brand "Sites of Remembrance Oder-Warthe" on behalf of the city of Seelow.
The first project conference took place on 5 March 2019 in the Schweizerhaus Seelow: Report on the first project conference.
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.