Bullinger's Correspondence - electronical edition

Correspondence of the Zurich reformator Heinrich Bullinger (1504-1575), the successor of Huldrych Zwingli, ..., German


Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie

ca. 27'000 Biographies of artists, scientists and military personnel, German


Marx and Bakunin - Marx und Bakunin

Author: Fritz Brupbacher (1874 - 1944), workers doctor, Zurich, German


Der Freisinnige

Freiburger politische Blätter,
1. März-25. Juli 1832, Nr. 1-145, German


The great Swiss peasant war 1653 - Der grosse Schweizerische Bauernkrieg 1653

Author: Hans Mühlestein, 1887 - 1969, Swiss art historian and writer, German


The great Swiss peasant war 1653 - Der grosse Schweizerische Bauernkrieg 1653

Responsible for digital edition: ARPA Data GmbH
Electronical processing: ARPA Data GmbH
Introduction: Andreas Krummenacher, 2008

Switzerland is the oldest democracy in the world. This in any case what politicians want to convince us. With this characterization, they negate the real political and social conditions of the old Confederation. It is thus also determined subliminally, what should be remembered. Subordinate territories are not among them, for example. The aristocrats rule certainly does not fit into this picture.

1653 tens of thousands of farmers went against their masters to war. Due to the economic crisis, the farmers suffered huge tax burdens. At the same time the copper coins (the lump) took an unprecedented devaluation. But first pushed the gracious men off their existing copper coin items. Insider trading at that time. The subjects had to pay for the misery in the country. Political and social oppression were added.

Militarily, the farmers had no chance. They were wiped out quickly, their leaders executed. Their bodies left to rot on the gallows. Hundreds were fined, banished, sold to the galleys. The farmers had to pay for the stately war costs. They had to hand over their weapons, their flags and the written documents. From then on it was forbidden even to speak about the Peasants' War.

No sooner was the event to the end, already started the battle for the question of what actually happened and what should be remembered. Everything in the Peasants' War that could be remembered in a positive manner was banned and suppressed. Only in the 19th Century was broken this grand pattern of interpretation, first timidly, then radically Marxist historians such as Hans Mühlestein. From historical sources, he creates an exciting image of the time. With literary power he creates a riveting chronicle of the peasant struggle. The fact is that the official historiography has neglected the Swiss peasant war long. The magisterial speech ban of 1653 has done so until recent time into it.

The event of the Peasants' War shows an example of how memories and interpretations of events work at all. This is the salient lesson, illustrated by Mühlestein. Switzerland has fundamental problems in dealing with history. Large parts of the elites refuse. Important events in Swiss history are not known. Unless we conjure any legends from the hat. But the inconvenient history does not take place. And that obviously has a long tradition. Mühlestein is so valuable, historically and educationally. He challenges so, because he clearly takes a position. The history is scientifically problematic. Already in the preface he writes that he is on the side of the farmers. The left Mühlestein as a class warrior. How do we have it with the government? What is the relation nowadays? Will there be subjects? Mühlestein's position reference is understandable. It is the subsequent solidarity with the oppressed. "The ultimate goal of the study of history is to understand," says the historian Marc Bloch. He also warns of the "align". There is an old topic, whether historians can only be neutral and objective. Which is commonly denied. At the same time cool objectivity and differentiated analysis are in the first place. Emotions have no place. With Mühlestein there is. The question of whether post-solidarity must adjust, depending on the event remains open and is assessed differently in every generation. What is wrong with solidarity in hindsight - with the oppressed, the exploited, betrayed, disenfranchised, killed?

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15:21:00 04.03.2013