March entering Vienna

March entering Vienna
Civil March for Aleppo entering Vienna

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Civil March for Aleppo - DAY 46 - The camps

Vienna, Stephanplatz, 8.00 AM on a cold and grey Thursday morning. Around 50 people form a circle while some locals go to their work. It is about time to leave for the Civil March. Six young male refugees from Syria will accompany us to our destination of the day. A chance for me to improve my Arabic. After the last security recommandations, the March Master, today Anna Aboltz, gives the departure sign to the group. The Syrian group is singing and laughing, very grateful to the Marchers for their action. But what we don't know yet, is the importance to them of the place we will end tonight. Traiskirchen is in deed where stands the biggest refugee camp in Austria. And they all had to wait there for months before obtaining their authorization to stay on the Austrian territory.
After more than four hours of walk, the March stops for a thirty minute tea break in Wiener Neudorf. At the entrance of this very industrialized town, 15 km south of Vienna, stands a tormented statue of a man trapped on barbewires. Made out of red bricks, the monument is dedicated to the 3000 deported prisoners of the Mauthausen concentration camp that came here between 1942 and 1945 on force labor for local airplane factories. The organization team is waiting for us on a parking lot in the south of the town. Some bread and cheese, warm tea, fruits and chocolate quickly swallowed and we are back on the road. We end 2 hours later in a big garden where another tea is provided by the local community. The garden happens to be the one created by the refugees for the time of their lockdown. In front of us stands a massive group of buildings in which everything that concerns the refugees in Austria is centralized. Another statue made of red bricks might pop up here one day as well,

Stephanplatz, Vienne, 8 heures du matin. Une cinquantaine de marcheurs forment le traditionnel cercle avant de prendre le départ pour notre prochaine destination, la ville de Traiskirchen, à 25 km de là. Six jeunes réfugiés syriens se joignent à nous et, une fois le départ donné, entonnent des chants du Levant. Notre destination n'a pourtant rien de joyeux car il s'agit de la ville qui accueille le plus vaste camp de réfugiés du pays et par lequel ils ont dû passer avant d'obtenir leur permis de séjour. Plusieurs mois à vivre dans des conditions précaires, sous la pluie ou dans le froid.
Après plus de 4 heures de Marche, nous traversons la ville industrielle de Traiskirchen. Á son entrée, en face d'une grosse usine se dresse la statue d'un homme tourmenté, prisonnier de fils barbelés. Il rappelle le martyrs de prisonniers d'une autre époque, venus d'un autre camp, celui de Mauthausen, pour travailler dans les usines d'aviation de la ville,

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