The death of 96 important representatives of the political, intellectual and military Polish elite at the plane crash near the Russian city Smolensk on april 10th is a loss for Europe. The members of the network „VIA REGIA – Cultural Route of the Council of Europe“ stand alongside their Polish friends and partners in mourning.

At the same time this occurrence is a challenge to go on being committed for the European dialogue. Because: Katyn is today. The actual occurrences and the present media coverage, discussions and speculations show which relevance the mutual mediation and transnational analyses of historical images and cultures of memory have.

Therein is one of most important aims of the VIA REGIA project. Especially the communication with the countries in Central and Eastern Europe, the knowledge of their history and the mutual trustful discussion on questions of guilt and responsibility we understand as a continuous task.

Within the frame of the network „VIA REGIA – Cultural Route of the Council of Europe“ a group of young scientists from Germany, Poland and the Ukraine will analyse and present a part of the European highway E40 as special „trace of memory“ during 2010. In no other time in Europe so many border shiftings, wars and (forced) migrations caused by politics took place that concentrated in time and space like in the 20th century in the former area of the Second Polish Republic, the present border area between Poland and the Ukraine. The traces of this history of the 20th century are strung along this tract.

The project will contribute to a first survey of the existing places of memory along the road between the Polish city of Rzeszów and the Ukrainian city of Korez. Main questions are: Which movements of the 20th century are remembered within the corridor and which movements don't have traces in the landscape? Who are the main actors behind the places of memory and which differences exist between the Polish and Ukrainian national territories?

The working results will be published on an own webpage and in the VIA REGIA knowledge, information and service platform The project is funded by the foundation „remembrance, responsibility, future“ within the frame of their programme „Geschichtswerkstatt Europa“ (history workshop Europe).

We will inform you about the work progress and hope for a inspiring and disputatious discurse on history and memory.