Teacher | Student
Originally produced in: Österreich
Also available in: en

2. Where these young “emigrants” came from

The municipalities of origin of the Swabian children according to the records of the district of Landeck
The labour catchment area of the Swabian children
The route of the Swabian children
Collection point in Landeck for the trip into Swabia


The Tyrolean children came from two main areas: an area of the Tyrol called the Oberland, mainly around the district of Landeck, and from an area on the upper reaches of the Adige. In the district of Reutte, the conditions on the mountain farms were so bad that many children from there went to work in Swabia. These parts of the Tyrol are not very high-yielding – the crops were meagre and the fields were steep and difficult to farm.


  1. From which area of the Tyrol did the children come from?
  2. Before the construction of the railway line to Vorarlberg, the Swabian children had to take a very difficult path into Swabia. Which 1,793-metre high pass did the Swabian children have to cross on their journeys to and from Swabia?

Display teacher's view to find the answers.

Description and Analysis

The routes:

There were two main routes that the Swabian children took into Swabia:

One led from the Vinschgau to the Fern Pass and from there via Reutte into Bavaria. The second route went from the Vinschgau and the Tyrolean Oberland over the Arlberg Pass into Swabia.

For their march on foot north, the children gathered at various departure points with their chaperones, who were their Swabian fathers or mothers. Each child was supplied with a Legitimationsschein (a form of passport) and a Schwabenpackl (a type of emergency ration). On average, this journey would last a week. The construction of the Arlberg railway did not really make things any easier for the Swabian children as very few of them had enough money for a ticket. The children had to be in Upper Swabia by St Joseph’s Day (19th of March), which was when the child labour market took place.

Answers to the Questions

  1. The children came from the Tyrolean Oberland, particularly from the districts of Landeck and Reutte, as well as the Upper Adige Valley.
  2. The Arlberg Pass.