Questions tagged [switzerland]

Questions related to the history of Switzerland, a landlocked country in Europe bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east.

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When did the cost of living differences between Switzerland and neighboring countries became noticeable?

Today it is widely known that prices of general goods in Switzerland are somewhat double those of Europe (rough generalization). There are a number of factors that contribute to this, notably the ...
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How long would a letter take to arrive in Geneva from Ingolstadt? (Georgian era)

The two cities are ~300 miles (488 km) apart as the crow flies. In the late 1700s/early 1800s, how long would it take to send a letter from Ingolstadt to Geneva, and vice versa?
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What cars were used with the Crocodile Class Ce 6/8 locomotive during its active years, especially at the beginning?

The Crocodile Class Ce 6/8 locomotive was manufactured around a century ago, between 1919 and 1927. It was used by Swiss Federal Railways. Wikipedia claims that These locomotives were developed for ...
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What is this 17th century Swiss coin?

I am trying to find more information about a coin that my father gave me before passing. All I know is that the coin is supposedly from the 17th century, Bern, Switzerland. I have found similar coins, ...
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Why was Basel, Switzerland chosen for the First Zionist Congress? [closed]

Why was Basel, Switzerland chosen for the First and other later Zionist Congresses to be held in?
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7 votes
0 answers
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Where were Allied soldiers in Switzerland typically kept?

I've been researching for a short story, but I've been having trouble working out the exact trajectory of POWs who escaped from German camps into Switzerland. I know many were put up in hotels for the ...
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Was the Bundesbrief a forgery?

Steinberg (2015, Why Switzerland?) writes: The famous Bundesbrief of 1291 is one of many ‘Fälschungen’ – forgeries which carbon-dating has shown to be from a later period. But briefly googling, it ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Are the Swiss flag and the flag/coat of arms of Piedmont related?

Below is a picture of a flag I recently saw in a restaurant, that looked to me like the Swiss flag with a bridge drawn on it: Through image search I discovered this was actually the coat of arms of ...
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23 votes
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Was Switzerland pressured either by Allies or Axis to take part in World War 2 at any time?

In the second world war, Switzerland mostly maintained it's neutrality and served as protecting power and mediated communications between the Axis and Allied powers. A Wikipedia article Switzerland ...
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5 votes
2 answers
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Can anyone identify what uniform this child soldier from Switzerland c1870 is wearing?

I don't have any information about this card apart from the photo itself. Carte de visite circa 1860-1880 from Lausanne, Switzerland. As you can see, this child is wearing a soldier's uniform and is ...
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Was Switzerland really impossible to invade during WW2?

My question is not about an alternative scenario, nor about the reasons that caused Switzerland to not get invaded (as could be seen here: Why was Switzerland not attacked during the two World Wars?). ...
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7 votes
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What kind of bullet did I find in Swiss glacial ice?

I found this bullet frozen in glacial ice in Switzerland. There is no visible stamp on it anymore and unfortunately did not have any precise measuring equipment with me. I can measure the size of my ...
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5 votes
2 answers
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When the Swiss Guard was formed, was the height requirement 174 cm (5' 8 1/2")?

The current minimum height required for the Swiss Guard at the Vatican is 5'8 1/2" or 174 cm (Swiss Guard requirements). Has that always been the case? I remember reading years ago that the minimum ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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What does this Swiss banner/blazon/coat of arms/flag stand for?

The blazon can be found on the Basel town hall It depicts two war axes that are crossed. The other flags depict banners of states of Switzerland, the one to the right is Wallis. More pictures of the ...
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Why were the Istein and Schliengen enclaves transferred from Switzerland to Baden?

Before the French revolutionary wars, the principality of Basel had 2 enclaves in the Rhine valley of what is modern Germany. Istein (also including Huttingen and maybe Wintersweiler) Schliengen (...
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Did German citizens need a visa to enter Switzerland in 1945?

I'm researching a story that plays in Europe immediately after the end of World War II. There is a character who is a German citizen and travels to Switzerland in 1945 (after the capitulation of ...
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11 votes
1 answer
527 views

What is this card, and why does it go "on the hat"?

This document is from the papers of a family whose ancestors immigrated from Germany to the United States in the late 19th century: Transcript: Zwilchenbart Basel 9 Centralbahnplatz 9 New York 1 ...
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Inter-ethnic conflicts in Switzerland in the 16th century

I have come across this description in Paddy Ashdown's (excellent) autobiography A Fortunate Life: I have often been struck by the similarities between those countries whose fortune (or ...
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What rights did women have in Switzerland in the first few years of the 20th century?

What were the legal rights of women in Switzerland in 1900-1905? Did women have the right to own property such as jewelry? Did items of value belong to her father if she was under the age of 24? ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Did Tirol annex land (right flank of Val d'Avigna) from Switzerland between 1859 and 1869?

Map from 1859: The river in the middle of Val d'Avigna is described as the border between Switzerland and Austria. An earlier map from 1853 shows the same border: On a map from 1869 the border is ...
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8 votes
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How was Switzerland able to stay neutral during WWI and WWII?

It is amazing Switzerland was able to stay neutral. It is not just a matter of choice and only up to Switzerland. Each side of the warring faction can take this hard stand "If you are not for me, then ...
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Why wasn't there French irredentism or pan-fransicm?

In the period from the mid 19th century until the end of the second World War, irredentism was a very common thing. For example, before the first world war, Italy wanted to annex the Italian speaking ...
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30 votes
2 answers
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Why did Switzerland not grant votes to women until 1971?

I was shocked to learn yesterday that Switzerland didn't grant votes to women until 1971. Other European foot-draggers like France granted this right at the end of the second world war, making ...
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What happened to the Swiss troops in French service after August 10, 1792?

We know that the Swiss guards were disbanded in the aftermath of the Assault on the Tuileries, on August 10, 1792, and all other Swiss troops in French service followed soon thereafter. We also know ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Did Italian irredentists ever lay claim to the Swiss Canton of Tessin?

The Italian irredentists wanted all Italian-speaking regions to be annexed by Italy, most specifically parts of Austria-Hungary, and this is why Italy joined the entente during the Great War, in order ...
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Why is German spoken in Upper Valais?

The Swiss region of Upper Valais is a German speaking region which is physically isolated from all other German speaking regions. The dialect spoken there is so different from other Swiss-German ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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What is the symbolism behind the Sauser family crest from Sigriswil, Switzerland?

I received a letter that included a photo copy of an old b&w photo of this medallion or sign with no explanation of what it is or what it was used. I understand it is something that was ...
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Did the University of California and University of Geneva award honorary degrees to Inazo Nitobe?

According to Inazo Nitobe (author of "Bushido: The Soul of Japan") timelines written in Japanese, he was awarded honorary degrees from "University of California" (Kariforunia Daigaku, カリフォルニア大学) in ...
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How did Swiss neutrality affect WW2? [closed]

How did Swiss neutrality affect WW2? What impact did Swiss neutrality have on the Axis powers? the Allies? Did Swiss neutrality have a significant effect on either side?
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4 votes
2 answers
597 views

Where in Basel was the first Zionist Congress held in 1897?

The Zionist Congresses were held in Basel from 1897 (the first congress) until 1899 (third congress), and many of the congresses after that were also held there. Where in Basel, exactly, was the "...
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31 votes
2 answers
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Why was Switzerland not attacked during the two World Wars?

Why in WW1 or WW2 or ever nobody invaded Switzerland? All other countries was in some wars. How Switzerland do it and should we learn from them? I hear that many people with power have money in swiss ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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What did the end of the western front look like at the Swiss Border?

After the German advance was stopped at the First Battle of the Marne in September 1914, the race to the sea (and also to the swiss border) began with both sides trying to take as much ground as they ...
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8 votes
3 answers
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Switzerland's political isolation after World War II

Does anyone know what were the reasons of Switzerland's political isolation on the international scene after World War II and how did it manage to break out of isolation?
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17 votes
1 answer
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How did the existence of the Alps impact the development of Switzerland?

Can anyone tell me what was the role of Alps and Alpine region in Swiss development of Switzerland?
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