The week of May 3 – 10 was planned to hold the first International Activity (“Prospective Memory” ProFest) within Roots in 2020, in cooperation with YMCA Netherlands and with engagement of partners from different parts of Europe and beyond to get together in Leusden, Netherlands and explore the shared history and legacy in the aftermath of the Second World War. But the global outbreak of COVID-19 has rendered the implementation impossible and ProFest had to be rescheduled for next year.
Nevertheless, the planning team continued close cooperation and it was deemed relevant and necessary to organize an online activity around the Victory Day date dedicated to the original project theme, in particular focusing on Soviet cemetery near Leusden, Netherlands which is the resting place of various nationalities that lost their lives during the Second World War.
Remco Reiding, the Dutch researcher and journalist facilitated the web-conference “Memory, Commemoration for Youth” on May 10th, 2020 hosted by YMCA Europe Roots for Peace and YMCA Netherlands.
The project partners all over Europe had the opportunity to learn about the work of one individual (Remco Reiding) and later on his Foundation Stichting Sovjet Ereveld in pursuit to discover and revive the life stories of those buried in the cemetery, which until recently remained uncovered. And it was impressive to witness what the conviction and perseverance can achieve – what started as the endeavor of one inspired individual is now the platform of international cooperation in memory and respect of those that gave lives to let us live – in Europe of peace and unity!