Report. In Austria, a hike commemorates the exodus of Jews after World War II

7am: Hikers set off on Austrian road, thousands of surviving Jews reach Italy, then Palestine 75 years ago. Usually, the group stops to listen to explanations from historian Robert Obermeier: “For political reasons, at the time, this route seemed the most convenient, but because of the topographical conditions, it was a very difficult one.”

A commemorative march in Austria to commemorate the expulsion of the Jews – report by Isare Hias


to hear

Yehuda wanted to make the trip to honor his own parents. Persecuted during the war because of their Jewishness, they made this long journey in the summer of 1947. Between 5,000 and 8,000 Holocaust survivors left Austria illegally and had to cross the 2,600 m high Krimmler Tauern pass on foot for more than eight hours. “They have no equipment, no proper footwear, no food.Yehuda says. They were physically and emotionally exhausted.”

“It’s definitely different for us today, but it gives me an idea of ​​what they’ve been through and it’s very emotional.”


Yehuda shares this emotional moment with his grandson Matan: “It’s very important to me to understand what my ancestors felt 75 years ago. It’s vital to pass that on to the next generation, so it’s very emotional for me as well.”

The climbers leave Austria and head to Italy for the 2,600m Grimmler Tauern pass on July 3, 2022.  (ISAURE HIACE / RADIO FRANCE)

Around 250 people participate in this organized walk Alpine Peace Crossing Association. The procession included many Austrians, including Sabine. Although she lives in this area, she rarely hears this story. “I recently realized that the story of this leak was not known in Austria for a very long time.Sabine explains. Some people should know about it but for various reasons they don’t talk about it. So I wanted to understand for myself the idea of ​​what these people who had already suffered so much had to endure. Gertrude, a retired Austrian, is taking part in the parade for the first time as Sabine. “Walking this path touches us more deeply than going online to learn this story.”Getroot is formed.

“It is important that this history is never forgotten and that wars and conflicts finally end.”

Gertrude, Austria

At franceinfo

After 6 hours of walking, the hikers reach the Italian border at an altitude of more than 2,500 meters, time to return, remembering these survivors who continued their journey to Palestine.

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