Information stations on the Escape Trail on Mt. Carmel.
(photo credit: YOAV DEVIR KKL-JNF)
The Escape Trail was dedicated in the Carmel Forest to mark the legacy of the Bricha Movement, which helped Holocaust refugees from Eastern Europe to escape to the land of Israel. The ceremony was jointly organized by KKL-JNF and the Bricha Legacy Association.
“It is important for each and every one of us to remember the story of the escape,” said Carmel Sela, the mayor of the Hof HaCarmel Regional Council. “We are in a forest with a rich history. The trail that we are dedicating today connects between our past, present and future.”
The development of the unique trail was recently adopted by JNF South Africa. The trail is three kilometers long and includes observation points and explanatory stations with signs that tell the history of the Bricha (Escape) Movement.
“The Escape Trail will make it possible for us to tell this amazing story to the many visitors who come to the forest,” said KKL-JNF Northern Region Director Dr. Omri Boneh. “This is an important chapter in the miracle of the creation of modern-day Israel, which had not been sufficiently well-known until now.”
The Bricha Movement was active in Europe from the end of World War II until the founding of the state of Israel. It was responsible for smuggling about 300,000 Holocaust survivors from Eastern Europe to Mediterranean ports on their way to the land of Israel. The Bricha Movement handled the complicated logistics necessary for moving hundreds of thousands of people between countries in postwar Europe: transportation from one place to another, border crossings with the help of bribery and forged documents, establishing transit camps and care for refugees.
“The escape activities and the journey of the survivors is a little-known story in our history,” said Dr. Miri Nahari, chairperson of the Bricha Legacy Association. “With KKL-JNF’s help, we are telling the historical story of the transition from Holocaust to rebirth.”
Read more, watch video about the Escape Trail on Mt. Carmel