[This page will be repeatedly updated between June 26 and 28.]
The annual APC hike actually begins at the Krimmler Tauernhaus. During the preparatory hike for the virtual commemorative hike, however, parts of our APC board started the path at the first APC pyramid in the village of Krimml. We can only recommend this extension for individual tours, because you will also pass the breathtaking Krimml waterfalls.
First Stop – Krimmler Tauernhaus
Under normal circumstances, most of us would have already arrived in Krimml to exchange ideas on the current focus topic of APC with experts at the annual dialogue forum. We would have planned an exciting program focusing on the topic “The dark side of the Alps. Antisemitism then and now”. As already announced several times, we have now taken up this year’s topic for the first time in written form in our new magazine “Alpendistel”.
But we don’t want to keep the actual hike from you either. In the first video of our virtual hike, Robert Obermair from the APC board team welcomes you at the starting point of the annual hike in front of the Krimmler Tauernhaus.
|The first part of the hike is still relatively flat.|
|The path is well signposted, so it is also easy to walk for individual hikes.|
Second Stop: Grove of The Flight
The APC hike continues from the Krimmler Tauernhaus up to the Achental. The memory pyramids lead to the grove of the flight. As Bettina Reiter from the APC board team explains in the video, the grove of the flight is dedicated to all refugees. A prism, two natural stones and 49 trees present, honor and connect the 1947 refugees, current refugees, activists and people who show solidarity with them.
|After a short entry in the memory book in the grove of the flight, the hike continues.|
Third stop: WIldbachalm
The historic escape route of the Jews from 1947 leads steeply up into the side valley of the Achental, into the Windbach Valley, above the Grove of the Flight. The Windbachalm is the last place before the high, snow-covered Tauern Pass. During the annual APC hikes, people who had to flee have their say here. Matthias Schreckeis from the APC team informs.
Social projects for refugees in Austria can be supported through our sister association “APC-Help”. Every contribution is important. The donations are tax deductible.
|After the Windbachalm, the path becomes increasingly steep. You can already see the snowy heights.|
|In the last hour on the way up to the top there is almost constant snow.|
Fourth stop: On top of the mountain
At 2,634 meters above sea level, the Jewish refugees crossed the border from Austria to Italy in 1947. The Krimmler Tauern Pass is the highest point of the memorial hike. Here, where around 250 participants begin their descent towards the South Tyrolean village of Kasern in other years, the APC team has to turn around on the virtual hike. The border is still closed due to Corona. Kay-Michael Dankl from the APC Scientific Advisory Board gives an impression of on site.
|We can at least enjoy the view of Italy.|
|After a short break, we have to make our way back down.|
Last stop: On the way down
On the way back down to the Windbach Valley, Antonia Winsauer from the APC board informs about a new project: In order to make this year’s topic “The dark side of the Alps. Antisemitism then and now” accessible despite Corona, APC publishes the magazine “Alpendistel”. From now on the magazine will be published annually in June. The magazine is sent to APC members free of charge.
|Unlike the other years, due to the Covid19 restrictions, the way back is the same this year and we cannot walk on to South Tyrol / Alto Adige.|
|We hope you enjoyed our virtual memorial hike. We look forward to getting together again in Krimml next year. In the meantime, we definitely hope you enjoy reading the Alpendistel!
One last thing: Our organization works purely on a voluntary basis. We would be very happy if you would support our work by becoming a member of APC or by donating to our organization.
Everything is different in 2020. Ways of remembrance on unusual paths
A logbook entry by Antonia Winsauer
APC base camp and rise
Since the board meeting in September 2019 and the handover of the organisation to us by the previous APC board, we were looking forward to the first APC commemorative hike and the dialogue forum on the last weekend in June 2020. It didn’t take us long to agree on a moto for this year’s events: The dark side of the Alps. Antisemitism then and now. We started preparing the events and were glad that we had support from so many people, who happily answered any questions we had on previous hikes and events: Andrea Mair in Krimml, Gal Talit in Israel, Ernst Löschner and the previous board members, as well as the former managing director. Michael Kerbler soon agreed to host the dialogue event and four speakers for the event were also found. Plus, Forum Alpbach offered an interesting cooperation. Everything was going as planned.
Of fog fields and finding new ways of remembrance
And then Covid-19 spread across the globe and things started to get uncertain. It was declared a pandemic and there were lockdowns all over the world. The annual APC highlight in Krimml as well as the kick-off events, which were to take place in April in Salzburg, Graz and Vienna, were all in limbo for a few weeks. After a few weeks, we had to announce the cancellation of all APC events. Due to the legal situation it was unavoidable.
Now we were faced with the question: How can the thousands of Jews who fled the Krimmler Tauern in 1947 be commemorated in 2020 if Alpine Peace Crossing cannot take place in the usual way? Simply suspending one year was out of the question for us, so we had to find alternative ways of remembering. With the lecture by Hamburg historian Florian Schubert on anti-Semitism in football, we were able to convert one of the planned kick-off events into an online event. Another very sustainable solution to our problem is the Alpendistel – magazine for anti-fascist memorial culture. Thanks to the active support of our authors and our graphic artist, and maybe with a little bit of luck, it was ready in time for the APC weekend at the end of June. Our Alpendistel should show problematic forms of commemoration once a year, break through social patterns, commemorate, remember, and encourage action. Every year it will have a new main topic. However great these things are, we still wanted to find a way to do our hike.
Of snow fields and a pass not crossed
The board of APC started on Friday, June 12th, from Salzburg, Graz and Vienna towards Krimml. There we moved into our quarters in the Krimmler Tauernhaus and left on Saturday morning to walk a part of the historic escape route. Over the grove of the escape in the Achental, we went along waterfalls to the Windbachalm, after a short refreshment we continued, brooks and snow fields were crossed, the path was steeper and more difficult, the snow fields became larger, the slopes steeper, but the grazing sheep herds did not get smaller. In the early afternoon we reached the Krimmler Tauern Pass, where we had to turn around after a short look into the snow-covered South Tyrol – the border to Italy was only supposed to open again a few days later. Again we went down snow fields and babbling brooks along the APC peace pyramids and in the evening we reached our high camp, the Krimmler Tauernhaus.