PEACE LINE. Peace ambassadors wanted

Verdun. Riga. Buchenwald. Berlin. Sarajevo. Westerplatte. Srebrenica. Have you heard about all these places, but never been there? If you are aged between 18 and 26, enjoy travelling to foreign countries with people from different countries and like to get involved in discussions, then join us, and draw a PEACE LINE right across Europe! While elsewhere peace lines separate conflicting parties, our peace lines ensure that people are connected and Europe grows together. You will travel together in an international group, to different places that played an important role for Europe during the 20th century. You will meet young people who live there now. And you will discuss the impact of past events on our present-day lives.

With PEACE LINE, you experience history right up close.
What historical events are still important today – and why? Do young people in Russia have a different view of Hitler and Stalin than young Poles or Germans? Why is November 11 so important in France? And do true heroes actually exist in real life?

Meet young people from all over Europe! Find out what they think about Europe, its history and the current political situation. And you can talk to others about your views in person.

The PEACE LINE project is sponsored by the Federal Foreign Office and organised by the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e.V. (German War Graves Commission).

PEACE LINE in 120 seconds

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Routes

Green Route

Do you want to discover the eventful history of the 20th century in Europe? On the Green Route, you’ll discuss the background and consequences of the two world wars, the Cold War and its division of the world as well as the European Unification and its goal to prevent future wars. This route will take you through the frontlines of former conflicts in Central Europe.

Blue Route

If you’re interested in the World War II and its consequences right up to the present day, and if you want to talk about it with a large group of other young people from all over Europe, debate the issues and get different perspectives on World War II, the subsequent time and what it means for your future, then apply for the this route.

Yellow Route

Are you interested in the history of the Balkans in the 20th century? Would you like to know how the two world wars and the division of Europe affected this region? Do you want to know how competing remembrance shapes the societies of the peninsula to this day? The Yellow Route takes you through a large part of the Balkans where you will also learn about the disintegration of Yugoslavia and the associated wars.

Become a peace ambassador

Learn together about the historical events of these places and about the different existing perspectives that show how the same events are told in different stories.

 

FAQ

What is PEACE LINE?

In 2020, the German War Graves Commission used the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War as an opportunity to launch an innovative project that combines encounter, reconciliation and education in a youth-oriented form: PEACE LINE. Peace Ambassadors wanted.

You will travel with young people between 18 and 26 from different countries for two weeks on a route through several countries in Western, Central and Southeastern Europe. The group will visit places of remembrance of the First and Second World War, the division of Europe and the European Unification. Pedagogically experienced team members will accompany the journey.

You will learn together about the historical events of these places and about the different existing perspectives that show how the same events are told in different stories. In this way, you will experience that the history you learned in school is not necessary the history that other young people from Europe learn in their countries or regions. It is one of the main goals of PEACE LINE to show you the existence of different historical perspectives and to discuss with you the origins and consequences of these stories.

Who can take part?

PEACE LINE is open to all European young people, but you should bring the following with you:

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You should have a solid knowledge of the English language, as the entire programme is conducted in English.
  • An interest and curiosity for history and Europe as well as politics are crucial.
  • You must have been brought up in Europe.
  • You also need a passport valid for at least six months at the beginning of our journey.
  • You should enjoy the exchange with international young people and be open-minded towards others.

I am a citizen of a non-EU country in Europe. Can I apply for PEACE LINE?

Yes, application is open to all young people from Europe, also those living outside Europe at the moment.

However, application is only possible if you have the legal right of travel to all the countries on the route you wish to take. So especially with COVID-19, please check if you can enter and get a visa (if needed) for these countries with your passport and current residency. In most cases this is not an issue, but it is your responsibility to see if it is possible with your specific citizenship/status of residence.

How can I apply?

You can apply here, by filling out the application form. It will be accessible in the first months of 2023. The exact date will be announced soon. You can also subscribe for an email reminder for the application period 2023. 

Additional to the application form, we ask you to submit a short video of you presenting yourself and your motivation to join PEACE LINE. You can find an example here. 

When will I know if I can join PEACE LINE?

You will receive a response from us relatively quickly after the application deadline (within 2-4 weeks) via email. After the application deadline, participants can still be accepted via the waiting list. Please book your arrival and departure only after you have received confirmation of your participation and further booking information.

The decision about acceptance and rejection of participants is made upon the basis of predefined criteria (diversity of countries of origin, balanced age and gender distribution, consideration of different target groups, motivation of the participants).

How good should my English be?

A solid knowledge of English is a requirement for participation, since people from all over Europe will travel together. You should be able to communicate well in English in everyday life. We deal with many historical and political topics, where you should be able to take part in the discussions. But don’t worry, the other participants and our multinational team members will certainly help you if you struggle to find your words.

Do I have to pay to participate?

We charge a participation fee of 100 € per person.

PEACE LINE will cover all expenses for accommodation, visa, meals, entrance fees as well as travel costs during the journey.

We will pay you a one-time travel allowance which will vary depending on where you live. As a rule, however, it is between 100 € and 400 €.

If you cannot afford the participation fee or the travel costs, please contact us and we will find a solution together.

Do I have to organise the trip myself?

You are in charge for your arrival at the first station of the journey and departure at the end. You need to make sure you have a valid passport and have two weeks to spare. We take care of all the rest.

Depending on your citizenship and the route you wish to take, you might also need to arrange for a visa. But don’t worry, we will help you with that and explain step by step how to get the right visa.

Can I join the tour for only part of the route?

No, it is not possible to travel only part of the route. By registering, you agree to take part in the entire journey and all the planned parts of the programme.

I’m not 18 yet. Can I still take part?

Unfortunately, participation under the age of 18 is not possible.

But hey: PEACE LINE will be continued in the coming years. So keep following our project and sign up if you are of age!

How can I become a team member?

If you not only want to be part of the trip as a participant, but would also like to take an active role as a team member, you can apply here. We are looking for team members with experience in international youth projects, a good knowledge of European history and strong communication skills.

As a team member

  • you will be part of a team of four.
  • you will be responsible for keeping the group together and take care of organisational tasks.
  • you will prepare and conduct workshops on history, culture of remembrance, narratives and team building as well as moderate discussions.
  • you will take part in a preparatory workshop with the PEACE LINE team, prepare the content in advance and arrive two days prior to the start to finalise the plan for the route.

The team members will receive a financial allowance and a travel reimbursement.

Is it safe to join PEACE LINE during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The PEACE LINE team observes the pandemic situation very closely and plans the routes accordingly. In principle, the safety and health of teamers and participants are the most important priority. By maintaining a hygiene concept, adapting travel plans to local outbreaks and regular testing before and during travelling we try to achieve a good level of protection and security. However, due to the dynamic development, last-minute changes to the route, the stations along the journey, its duration and the program are possible. In the weeks before your journey starts, be sure to check your inbox regularly in order not to miss important info.

Do I have to be vaccinated against or recovered from COVID-19?

Yes, participation in PEACE LINE is only possible if you have been vaccinated against or recovered from COVID-19.

To be able to enter all the countries on your chosen route, you have to have the status fully vaccinated/recovered in those countries. Please check the individual requirements yourself to see which vaccines are accepted and how long your protection status is valid.

I have a health condition which is associated with a higher risk of severe course of COVID-19. Can I still join?

In the end, it is your decision. It should be clear that despite all precautions, the risk of infection will always be higher during a group journey than without. You have to weigh your individual risk with the merits of joining PEACE LINE, we also encourage you to talk to your physician in case of doubt. Also, please be aware that our teamers are not allowed to administer medication or to perform medical treatment (other than first-aid emergencies).

In principle, we encourage all participants to share information on health conditions; all participants receive a form to fill out after successful registration. This is important so that there are no surprises in cases of emergencies. Your personal data will be treated confidentially and will be deleted after the end of the journey.

What happens if there is a COVID-19 case during PEACE LINE?

In principle, we will try to avoid the risk of infection as much as possible. This includes careful planning in relation to local pandemic developments, separating the group from outside contacts as much as possible and testing before and during PEACE LINE.

Health insurance will be covered either by standard European coverage (for participants in their own home country) or by the German War Graves Commission (during travel abroad). In case of infection or quarantine, we will follow the instructions of local health authorities and assist affected persons. Detailed emergency plans will be sent to participants shortly before travel so that newest developments can be considered.

Who actually runs PEACE LINE?

PEACE LINE is carried out by the German War Graves Commission as the so-called lead partner, but is supported by a broad alliance of partners. The whole project is financed by the German Foreign Office.

The German War Graves Commission is a recognised and modern actor in the culture of remembrance and commemoration. It safeguards the memory of the victims of wars and tyranny by caring for the graves and relatives as well as through commemorative and educational work, understands their death as a mission for peace and reconciliation work and thus makes its contribution to the promotion of the European idea.