Mission and vision

The Atlantikwall Europe (AWE) project strives for the first time in European post-war history, to link museums, places of remembrance and all interested parties, preserving memory and implicating future generations, especially the young, in the common European heritage of the World War II Atlantic Wall in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia and the United Kingdom (Channel Islands), showing to all generations its significance for Europe’s future.

Atlantikwall Europe seeks, through an integrated and multidisciplinary approach to enhance diversity and dialogue through access to this heritage, and to foster a sense of identity based on European values and collective memory and mutual understanding between people.

The project wishes to involve all interested stakeholders in a European community building cooperation network, through which research, events, education and culture, publications, training, funding alternatives, defense of common interests and linkage to fortification and other partners can efficiently be sought and developed together on a European scale.

Atlantikwall Europe wants to work on a structure by which the common European heritage that is the historic Atlantic Wall construction -through its remains in many European countries, regions and cities - can serve as a witness of the need of human rights and democracy in Europe and the world. WWII heritage as part of European identity counts.

Vision

For decades still, the historic Atlantikwall, together with the protected sites of concentration camps and battlefields, will remain a highly visible, physical remnant of the horror of World War II and the German occupation of Western Europe. On D-Day, 6 June 1944, the Allies in Normandy broke through this German defence line. What was named in German the ‘Atlantikwall‘ was built between 1942 and 1945 along the Atlantic coast to prevent an allied invasion. The allied success in breaching the Atlantikwall is still a symbol that no wall can keep at bay the spirit of freedom. 

The citizens of Europe must never forget that from a Europe of oppression and exclusion we evolved towards a European Union of inclusion and freedom. The Atlantikwall should therefore be a place of remembrance, linking the past with present-day European values. Thanks to its location along the West-European coast in much visited areas, and thanks to its sturdiness, visibility and tangibility it will be a place for present and future generations to commemorate, reflect about our common European values and will continue to mark the need, today more than ever, for a strong, united, democratic and inclusive Europe of people and ideas.