The provincial gathering held on November 17, 1957 drew more than 30,000 attendees, and represented a turning-point in the history of South Tyrol, with the demand of “Freedom from Trento.”
The 1946 “Paris Treaty” (also referred to as the “Gruber-De Gasperi Treaty”) had promised that South Tyrol would be allowed to be self-governing, but was undermined by Italy when it merged South Tyrol with Trento to form the region of Trentino-Alto Adige, thus ensuring that the Italians represented the majority and would thus have the dominant role in determining South Tyrol’s public policies. Additionally, a great deal of public housing was built – and most of the dwellings allocated to immigrants from southern Italy.
For the first time, the populace of South Tyrol took a stand against the Italian state’s renewed attempts to “Italianize” demographics and marginalize the native population.
After the gathering, Sepp Kerschbaumer distributed a handbill which can be regarded as the first action of the “Liberation Committee of South Tyrol” (BAS).
The rope ladder exhibited here were used by the BAS activist and militiaman Luis Amplatz of Bozen/Gries to hoist the Tyrolean flag from the “White Tower” – a strictly prohibited act in 1957.