Finishing the walk: refugees want to return to their homes

Donations to the Albanian refugee community are split between the 52×360 mile Long Walk and the Liberty Bank

Journalist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Mr Rosenberg was born on 9 November 1916, the son of rich and influential Swiss ex-pats, and had already been reading the news about the Holocaust by the time he was six.

The Heilbronn, Germany-born Rosenberg was forced to flee to France when he was 16 after the Nazis came to power and his family was expelled from Germany; when he was 11 they managed to flee to Switzerland.

Long before the fall of the Berlin Wall he fought in the Resistance, but that he finally made it to the west was linked to luck, only almost ending up in the country that had saved his life in the first place.

One of the lucky ones

Rosenberg’s cousin was on a visa that was almost filled, but had to be recused before it was submitted for an interview with a US Consulate employee in Stuttgart; the US Embassy chief was listening to a demonstration by the Solidarity trade union in Warsaw and not clear about the occupation policies of the occupation forces that was in place at the time.

Fearing that it was part of a support programme that Lenin’s Red Army was undertaking in Poland, the Stuttgart consulate decided to deny him a visa.

Rosenberg waited to learn if the consulate would accept the request again, but when he first saw the report in Swiss news in mid-February 1940, he realised that was not the case.

After much research over the following two years, he learnt that the US had secretly given citizenship and a chance at a new life to him and his mother, but not his brother.

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