Churchill and Switzerland

From Monte Rosa to the triumphal procession in Zurich

On 19 September 1946, Winston Churchill delivered his famous speech «Let Europe Arise» at the University of Zurich. In this speech, he dealt with his idea of a united and peaceful Europe. But why did Churchill choose Switzerland as stage to talk about his political vision? And what was his connection to Switzerland? The book «Winston Churchill und die Schweiz», written by Werner Vogt, gives an answer to these questions.

As a young man, Winston Churchill learned to love and appreciate Switzerland. At that time, he climbed Monte Rosa, he admired the beauty of the Bernese and Valais Alps and he almost drowned in the lake of Geneva. As Minister of eight different ministries and as Prime Minister (1940-1945, 1951-1955), Switzerland was one topic in many Churchill had to deal with. Nevertheless, he had a profound understanding of the country’s situation as a neutral state in the middle of National Socialism and fascism. He appreciated his Swiss art teacher Charles Montag, the Swiss paint supplier Willy Sax and his Swiss cooks and servants. Thanks to Churchill, his perseverance and his Vision, England, Europe and Switzerland were saved in 1940. That is why his visit of Zurich in 1946 was a triumphal procession. In «Winston Churchill und die Schweiz», Werner Vogt combines historic expertise and workmanship with the instinct of a journalist and he refers to Swiss contemporary witnesses.

Excerpt (in German)


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