It is 7 am: the hikers set off on the Austrian road that thousands of surviving Jews traveled 75 years ago to reach Italy, then Palestine. Regularly, the group stops to listen to the explanations of the historian Robert Obermair: “For political reasons, this route seemed, at the time, the most comfortable, but it was also one of the most difficult due to the topographical conditions.”
A commemorative excursion to Austria to commemorate the exodus of the Jews – Isaure Hiace’s reportage
A demanding journey that Yehuda wanted to make as a tribute to his own parents. Persecuted during the war for their Jewishness, they made this long journey themselves in the summer of 1947. Between 5,000 and 8,000 Holocaust survivors left Austria illegally and had to walk for more than eight hours and cross the Krimmler Pass. 2,600 m high Tauern. “They had no equipment, no proper footwear, no food.says Yehuda. They were physically and emotionally tired. ”
“For us today it’s obviously different, but it gives me an idea of what they’ve been through and it’s very emotional.”
This exciting moment, Yehuda shares it with his grandson Matan: “It is very important for me to understand what my ancestors felt 75 years ago. It is essential to pass it on to the next generations, so it is very exciting for me too.”
About 250 people participate in this excursion organized by the Alpine Peace Crossing association. The procession also includes many Austrians including Sabine. Although she lives in this area, she had rarely heard of this story. “I recently realized that the story of this leak had been unknown in Austria for a long time.explains Sabina. Some must have obviously known this but have not talked about it for various reasons. So I wanted to understand for myself, to have an idea of what these people had to endure, they who had already suffered so much. Getrude, a retired Austrian, participates for the first time as Sabine in this march. “Walking this path touches us more deeply than simply going online to learn this story”develops Getrude.
“It is important that this story is never forgotten and that wars and discord finally end”.Getrude, Austrian
After 6 hours of walking, the hikers reach the Italian border at over 2,500m of altitude, time to descend to return, thinking of these survivors who have continued their journey in Palestine.
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