I did not find the place interesting. At the time, I did not know how significant this place would become for me in the future.
The Talit family and Austrian friends – 27.6.2007 in Saalfelden (left to right: Sabine Aschauer-Smolik, Bilha, Uzi, Gal and Moshe Talit, Ernst Löschner)
Everything changed in the summer of 2007, when my father got in touch with Ernst Löschner. This happened after my father listened to a radio program in which it was stated that the Austrian Embassy in Israel was looking for people who lived in the DP camp in Saalfelden after World War II and crossed the Alps to Italy. After the bond between my father and Mr. Löschner was formed, both my parents were invited to attend the first APC, along with additional Israeli testimonial witnesses. Mother was already very ill at the time. My brother, Uzi (who lives in Florida, USA) and I decided to join this delegation. We came to the realization that this could be our last journey together with our mother. Sadly, this turned out to be the case as my mother passed away 6 weeks after our return to Israel. Despite not feeling well, during this last visit, mother was so happy to recount her experiences when she was young. I arrived in Austria in 2007 with no intention of completing the entire trek all the way to Italy. I did not think I could withstand the journey. But when I realized that some other members of the group from Israel who were older than I was, intended to complete the trek, I decided to give it a try as well. I did not have suitable clothing or hiking equipment, so I improvised. Each friend gave me one much needed item – walking poles,
a coat, a scarf etc. I completed the trek in a similar vein to those who did it in 1947 – they also didn't give up despite not having the proper hiking equipment. With sheer willpower, perseverance and a lot of encouragement from my fellow trekkers, I completed my first Alpine Peace Crossing march, not knowing then that it would be only the first of many. Since 2007, I have continued to attend almost all yearly APC events. I was joined by my brother, Uzi,
Gal Talit at the turnoff to Windbach Valley in 2007