With the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of Europe in the final years of WWII in 2019–2020, Rough Guides is releasing a new, comprehensive and inspirational guidebook: Travel the Liberation Route Europe. Rough Guides editor Helen Fanthorpe introduces the book and explains what it’s all about.
The book is the result of a collaboration between the expert team at Rough Guides, spearheaded by authors Nick Inman and Joseph Staines, and the Liberation Route Europe Foundation, an association promoting remembrance tourism and international cooperation – and an authority on the subject. Bringing the events of the period to life through the locations that shaped it, Travel the Liberation Route Europe has already been picked out by National Geographic as one of the top travel books of 2019.
Arromanches-les-Bains beach in Normandy, France © Shandarov Arkadii/Shutterstock
What’s in the book?
The book follows the sites and experiences along the path of the Allied advance in the closing stages of World War II, evoking the stories, battles and famous personalities of the Liberation of Europe. Leading the reader through the countries where the action took place, the chapters combine historical narrative and remembrance sites in nine countries: Italy, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany.
As well as tracing the history of the Liberation, the country chapters list a selection of the best remembrance sites – museums, cemeteries, monuments and so on – to visit in each region. From world-famous landmarks like the D-Day landing beaches in Normandy and Anne Frank House in Amsterdam to the important role played by regional locations like Dungeness in Kent and Pilsen in the Czech Republic, the sheer range of sites and experiences facilitate remembrance tourism in person. Country maps pinpoint the location of all the listed sites.
Dungeness in Kent was a strategic point in the allied liberation of Europe © Helen Hotson
This comprehensive yet accessible guide sets the events within the wider context of World War II. Certain chapters tackle topics like life under occupation, resistance movements and the Holocaust. Introductory sections include an overall map and timeline, while concluding chapters explore what happened after the war, including a discussion on how we think about World War II and the Liberation today. Additional resources provide a selection of suggested itineraries and a list of films and books for anyone interested in watching or reading more on the topic.
Travel the Liberation Route Europe will be released on July 1, 2019. Pre-order here. For more information on the Liberation Route in the meantime, we've launched a dedicated section of our website here.