Hohenems in 1938 was a possible gateway to freedom for Jewish refugees. Many attempted to get away from persecution in Nazi Germany and Austria, by crossing the old Rhine, the border between Vorarlberg and Switzerland. We follow their traces on a guided tour that starts at the Jewish Museum. We walk along the Emsbach and listen to audio interviews with survivors. They speak about their personal experience in 1938, about their escape but also about their difficult life in Switzerland once they have crossed the border. We also listen to the story of those who dared to help the refugees. Some of them – like the police officer Paul Grüninger from St. Gall – risked their own future for this.
Grüninger-bridge into Austria. Here at the Zollamt Hohenems the guided tour ends. About 4 km. Valid Travel Documents necessary as we cross a state frontier.
Drama Educational Workshop (Ages 12–99)
(School) groups are welcome to discover the stories of refugees and helpers during the years of National Socialism on an ever deeper level: along the route additional short and impressive units of drama pedagogy give us an idea of what went on in peoples minds at that time and how difficult decisions were to be made. And quite obvious there is a very relevant link to the present: how did it feel, when surviving was dependent on luck, which dilemma were officials at the border facing back then.
An impressive experience and a valuable starting point for current discussions about the topic of flight. No qualification in theatre or acting necessary!