The entire planned PEACE LINE itineraries were intended to be a mosaic of memories that would continue to build from station to station. However, when it became apparent that the Covid-19-pandemic and the resulting travel restrictions would make the PEACE LINE journeys impossible, we developed the concept of the PEACE LINE mosaic.
If the mosaic could not be put together as a whole, at least some mosaic stones were to be worked out. At individual stations, the places of remembrance were to be visited and the work tasks were to be completed, which were planned within the framework of the journey. We hoped to be able to depict more or less the entire journey with contributions from the participants. We wanted to bring together interested people who do not come from a risk area and whose home country, the host country, is not a risk area. There should be one or two hosts, one teamer and two participants. Since the regulations differed from country to country (and still do), this was real puzzle work. Unfortunately, most of the destinations had become risk areas in the meantime, so that the places and countries of origin had to be restricted more and more.
Nevertheless: we were able to put two pieces of the mosaic into the PEACE LINE framework: Verdun and Berlin.
The mosaic in Verdun took place in September in the best weather. The participants dealt with the history of the First World War, Franco-German relations and a living culture of remembrance.
The Berlin mosaic, which we also developed, was a colourful mix: six German participants, one Polish and one Lithuanian participant, one French teamer and one Ukrainian participant explored Berlin on the weekend around 3 October. In the spirit of the German bank holidays, the programme revolved around European division and unification, East and West and a common Europe.
Unfortunately, due to the circumstances, the project team was able to do much less than they had hoped. But it turned out that the system works. The PEACE LINE mosaics can also be a good addition to the actual programme in “normal” times and appeal to those who do not have the time to accompany an entire PEACE LINE tour.
“Even before our PEACE LINE weekend, the history of Verdun was not unknown to me. But no history book in this world gives you a feeling for what it means to stand in a trench, to hold out in a bunker and to be exposed to the constant danger of life. The suffering and cruelty on all sides can hardly be put into words. But it was not only the visits to the various memorials and cemeteries that made this weekend unique. It was also the lively exchange with my fellow travellers and the wonderful commitment of our team leader that shaped this experience. I can only recommend everyone to embark on the journey with PEACE LINE. Many thanks to the lovely organisers who made this possible.”
Tanya Shannon Bright, participant in the PEACE LINE Mosaic Verdun