PEACE LINE. Peace ambassadors wanted

Verdun. Riga. Buchenwald. Leningrad blockade. Schengen. Westerplatte. 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! 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, history and the current political situation. And you can talk to others about your views in person – or write a blog!

In the PEACE LINE project, which is sponsored by the Federal Foreign Office, different organisations work together led by the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e.V. (German war graves commission).

Our partners are the Europäische Akademie Berlin (the European Academy in Berlin), the Internationales Bildungs- und Begegnungswerk (the Office for International Education and Exchange), the German-Russian Museum in Karlshorst, ConAct (the Coordination Center for German-Israel Youth Exchange), German-Polish and Franco-German Youth Offices, the Federal Agency for Civic Education, and the war graves organisations in France and the Netherlands.

Experience Europe on these three routes:

PEACE LINE in 120 seconds

Routes

Green Route

How about travelling from Berlin to France, through Germany and the Czech Republic? Register for the Weimar – Prague – Munich – Verdun route!

Blue Route

Does the thought of travelling from St. Petersburg to the border between Germany and Poland via the Baltic coast excite you? Then the St. Petersburg – Rīga– Kaunas – Gdańsk route is the right one for you.

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”.

Young people between 18 and 26 from different countries travel together for two weeks on a route through several countries in Western, Central and Southeastern Europe. You 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 you on your journey.

You will learn together about the historical events of these places and about the different existing perspectives (“narratives”) 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 narratives 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 followings 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.
A keen interest in history and Europe as well as politics are crucial.
You also need a passport valid for at least 6 months at the beginning of our journey.
You should enjoy the exchange with international young people and be open-minded towards others.

How goes the selection process work?

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

You will receive first a response from us relatively quickly (within 2-4 weeks). After the application deadline, participants can still be accepted via the waiting list.

Do I have to pay to participate?

Yes.

We charge a participation fee of 100 € per person.

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

We will pay you a flat-rate travel allowance for your arrival and departure which will vary depending on where you live. As a rule, however, it is between 100 € and 400 €.

Please book your arrival and departure only after you have received confirmation of your participation and further booking information.

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?

No.

We take care of all the travel arrangements for you. You just need to make sure you have a valid passport and have two weeks to spare. Also, you are in charge for your arrival and departure.

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

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

No.

Unfortunately, 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.

How good should my English be?

Young people from all over Europe – and beyond – will participate. Therefore, a solid knowledge of English is a prerequisite for participation. You should be able to cope well with English in everyday life and it should not be difficult for you to use the English language. We deal with many historical and political topics, where you might miss a word or two, that’s no problem, and if it gets really difficult, the other participants or our multinational team of team members will certainly help you.

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

No.

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! And you can still participate in all online events.

How can I become a team member?

If you not only want to be part of the trip, but would also like to accompany a group of young people as a team member, you can apply via our website. It will be necessary that you have some experience in accompanying (international) youth projects.

As a team member, you will be responsible for the group together with other young team members. We will be on the move a lot on the route, so team members who keep the group together and are available for questions are indispensable.

In addition, the individual places will be didacticised beforehand and prepared in such a way that the participants can learn about the contents together. They are supported in this by the team members. The task of the team members will be to adapt this material if needed, to conduct workshops on the route, to take up questions and discussions and to moderate them in a goal-oriented way.

The team members will also have to take care of organisational tasks, such as checking whether everyone is back on the bus, distributing rooms, keeping track of the finances, etc….

The team members will be trained by us in advance for this task. However, if you already have experience in looking after youth groups, this is an advantage.

The team members receive a financial allowance for their work and of course the travel costs including travel to and from the route are covered.

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.

I am a citizen of a non-EU-Country OR I live permanently outside the EU. Can I apply for PEACE LINE?

Yes.

Application is open to all young people from Europe, also those living outside the EU.

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

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 during and before 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 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. So 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. Data will be treated confidentially and will be deleted after the end of the project.

What happens if there is a COVID-19 outbreak 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 extensive 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.