Austria: Peace Road 2018 in Upper Austria
For PEACE by bike on the ROAD
By Maria Pammer, UPF-Upper Austria
On October 13th, 2018 we set an example to mark the International Day for Disaster Reduction. In collaboration with 3 communities and their mayors UPF-Upper Austria participated on October 13th, 2018 in the global project Peace Road with a bicycle tour from the Peace Bridge in front of the Forestry Museum in Reichraming http://www.reichraming.at/ – out of the Enns valley to Ternberg http://www.ternberg.at/ – through to the Peace Memorial in St. Ulrich http://www.st- ulrich.at/
In front of the Forestry Museum the mayor of Reichraming and the board of the Forestry Museum entertained us with a regional breakfast and music. The mayor emphasized the harmony of this place in front of the Forestry Museum representing the legacy of the past and the Peace Bridge built by youth from Israel, Palestine and Austria representing hope for the future.
The local councilwoman of Reichraming, who gave already last year‘s Peace Road Initiative a strong support and contributed also this year greatly to this project, was appointed as a Peace Ambassador.
After the brass band of Reichraming played the European anthem, the cyclists set out. The cyclists passed Trattenbach, the valley of the jackknife craftsmen. https://www.tal-der- feitelmacher.at/
During their stopover in Ternberg the peace cyclists were received by the mayor of this community in the priest’s barrack. From 1942 to 1944 there was a sub-camp of Mauthausen concentration camp with up to 400 prisoners, who had to work during the construction of the Enns power plant. Considering this memorial site the mayor served water and bread for the guests. We also had a competent introduction to the issues of the memorial site.
The last part of the entire 30 kilometers was an exhausting climb to the peace community St. Ulrich.
In front of the Peace Memorial in St. Ulrich the lady mayor and local members of the council of St. Ulrich awaited us. Regional food and drink was already prepared and the cyclists could take a rest and relax outdoors thanks to the wonderful weather and the prepared seating accommodations.
We were very pleased that two vice mayors from the neighboring city Steyr came to welcome the peace cyclists.
Also Dr. Walther Lichem accompanied by Mr. Peter Haider, UPF-Austria, had already arrived from Vienna.
Everybody, especially the guests from Vienna, felt very welcome in the community St. Ulrich, which is since 1982 due to the former mayor Thaddäus Steinmaier the first Peace Community throughout the world.
Two students from the preparatory class of ORG Steyr ROSE http://www.rose-steyr.org/ , who had also joined the bike ride, expressed their gratitude. Voluntary donations collected in Reichraming and St. Ulrich are given to ROSE, to support the preparatory class of about 20 refugees.
The Peace Road was concluded with a lecture by Dr. Walther Lichem with the topic „Peace through movement, through open doors“ in the community hall of St. Ulrich. He gave an interesting overview of the development of the terms peace and human rights within the United Nations over the years.
The audience was touched by his numerous personal experiences as Austrian ambassador in various countries, but also his adventures as a teenager travelling by bike and a Puch-moped through the Middle East and Africa.