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The Salzburg Protestants on their Way to Prussia in the Year 1732 (1734)
This engraving shows a group of Protestant expellees [Exulanten] on their way to Prussia. Between April and July 1732, approximately 20,000 Salzburg Protestants made their way to Prussia in twenty-six groups, each of which included approximately 800 people. Their long march over Franconia and Saxony was a sensation in and of itself. As historian Christopher Clark wrote, “The long lines of Salzburgers trudging steadfastly northward through Protestant towns and cities in their outlandish Alpine gear had an electrifying effect on spectators. . . . Many were reminded of the children of Israel on their way out of Egypt.” [Christopher Clark, Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947. Cambridge, MA, 2006, pp. 142-44.] The fate of the Salzburg Protestants became the subject of a flood of books, pamphlets, and popular imagery in the 1730s. The caption of this 1734 copperplate engraving expresses regret that the Protestants were expelled on confessional grounds but also expresses great faith that God would look after them in their new homeland. Unknown artist, 1734.