Prague/Nürnberg, 25 May 2016. At a working conference with the title “Preserving the Lesson of the Iron Curtain“ in Nürnberg yesterday, Members of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience met with representatives of the European Green Belt Initiative for the first time. They underlined their interest in future cooperation on the European level.
The 12,500 km long European Green Belt, an ecological network traversing 24 countries along the former Iron Curtain, the no-entry zone where thousands of Europeans lost their lives during their flight for freedom from Communism, is a site where the history of 20th century totalitarianism is imprinted in the relatively undisturbed nature and landscape.
The Platform of European Memory and Conscience as well as the European Green Belt Initiative are interested in preserving the region along the former Iron Curtain as a European site of conscience and in developing common projects aimed at educating the public, commemorating the victims and supporting soft tourism concepts.
“The memory of the people killed while trying to escape to the free world needs to be kept alive, especially today, to remind us why upholding democracy, freedom and human rights is so essential,“ says Neela Winkelmann, Managing Director of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience.
“The European Green Belt is as unique memorial landscape of high ecological value. By preserving this ecological network along the former Iron Curtain also the traces of history will be maintained especially for younger generations,“ says Melanie Kreutz, Deputy Director of the BUND Project Office Green Belt, Regional Coordinator for the Green Belt Central Europe.
A follow-up workshop to discuss common projects is planned for 11 July 2016 in Mikulov, Czech Republic.
The European Green Belt Initiative: www.europeangreenbelt.org