Why do we remember Churchill? – There are several reasons. People who achieved great things deserve to be remembered. Winston Churchill experienced two World Wars in a central position as Minister and Prime Minister. He made an important contribution to the Allies’ victory. And after the European youth was sacrificed twice on the battlefields, Churchill made every effort to find a functioning post-war order for Europe.
In terms of European policy, people often forget that the west of our continent has never enjoyed such a long period of peace before. So fas it has been 71 years. The collapse of Yugoslavia and the following civil war more than 20 years ago as well as today’s conflict in eastern Ukraine and the Russian annexation of Crimea prove in a dramatic way, that peace is not natural.
What is our motivation for the non-commercial organisation of the series of events «Churchill in Zurich»? – Without Churchill’s determined fight against Hitler from 1940 on, the invasion of Switzerland by Hitler’s Germany would have become far more likely. We are convinced that our parents would not have survived in this case. Therefore, we as historian who were allowed to grow up in peace and freedom are thankful that Winston Churchill fought for the freedom of our country. This is why we want to honor him.
But it is not only about commemorating the past. The central question of «Churchill in Zurich» is «What has become of Churchill’s vision? What path has Europe taken? And where is it heading now?»
To discuss these questions which are, in our opinion, crucial for all of us, we organize, on the one hand, debating platforms for experienced leaders of politics, economy and science. On the other hand, we organize the same platforms for the leaders of tomorrow. We will invite young women and men from all over Europe to participate at the first «European Future Leaders Conference» in Zurich. Because the future Europe we are talking about is primarily their Europe.
It is no coincidence that we want to encourage this discussion on the basis of Winston Churchill’s visit in Zurich and on his vision of 1946. Because without history, there would not be any future at all.
Werner Vogt & Sacha Wigdorovits