The majority of this material is in Rumanian. Leaflets. Publications. Song sheet. Newspapers. Poem. Photocopies of photographs. Play with English summary. Summary of all documents (English).
History / Biographical
The Pedestrians, or Foot-wanderers, were young men and women from Rumania. Suffering under severe anti-Semitic government policies, they decided to leave for North America, but to do so in a dramatic way which would make known their situation throughout Europe and the rest of the world. In groups of 100 or 200, with their possessions on their backs, they marched from one country to another, trying to reach ports from which they could sail to North America. Along the way, they were helped by reception committees, and the Jewish Colonization Association provided steamship tickets to cross the Atlantic. Some of these immigrants reached Montreal, where the JCA tried to place them, mainly in western Canada. Though the groups were made up of people in a variety of professions, the Pedestrians were known for putting on dramatic productions during their travels in Europe, and after their arrival in North America. The movement existed for only a few years, starting in the late 1890s.