© Guy Shachar
The Israelis of 2018 next to the Krimmler Tauernhaus with Ernst Löschner
The participants from Israel recreate their ancestors’ journey through the Alps. In this way, they preserve the legacy and memory of past generations
Many Israelis who were exposed to this website, found that it was their family heritage as well and the Israeli interest in APC grew. At about the same time, in 2012, the Bricha Heritage Association was established with the aim of presenting the experiences of Holocaust survivors who travelled throughout Europe on their way to Eretz Israel (Land of Israel), led by members of the Bricha organization. The association's wish to commemorate the legacy of the crossing of the Alps from Saallfelden, via the Krimmler Tauern Pass to Kasern (Casere) in Italy in the summer of 1947, became one of its main activities.
who came from the United States every year and attended them all. In the first few years after 2007, we were the only Israelis. Slowly, more Israelis joined. In addition, we held two youth delegation exchanges between high school students from Saalfelden, Austria, and from the Upper Galilee, Israel, where the respective visits in each country took place in 2010 and 2013. One component of the Israeli students' visit in Austria included the participation of both delegations in the APC.
Since 2017, one decade after the first APC, groups of several dozen Israelis participated in the APC every year. Participants now are first, second and third generation of the 1947 trekkers. They recreate, in part or in full, their ancestors' journey across the Alps. In this way, they preserve the legacy and memory of past generations, whose members have either perished or survived the hardships on their journey to the Land of Israel.
Over the years, a number of family members of the Israeli testimonial witnesses who were invited to participate in the first Alpine Peace Crossing in 2007 have participated in the APC events, with only a few other additional Israelis participating. This changed in 2015 following the publication of the APC events on Guy Shachar's travelling website (https://guyshachar.com/en/?s=krimml).
Let us hope that the trees planted on the path of the trek in the Grove of Flight, in honor of those who crossed the Alps in 1947, those who assisted them along the way and those recreating their history since 2007, will help ensure that the past is not forgotten. We owe it to all of them. We will remember them and their labor and never forget.
Gal Talit lives in Tel Aviv, Israel. She is a regional and urban planner, holds a PhD in public policy and works as a lecturer and researcher. She is involved in the activities of the Bricha Heritage Association (http://www.habricha.org.il/ en/the-association).