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  #101  
Old 11.06.2009, 13:17
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

My Grandparents came to Switzerland in the 60s from Sicily as there was no work in Sicily and needed to feed thier 2 children who were left behind. My grandmother worked in a factory making Migros bags and my grandfather work in the construction sites during the day, and at night he would deliver carbon for heating homes.
Aparently back then, you were aloud to work in Switzerland as an outsider, but you weren't aloud to bring your children, so they were left behind. Some people couldnt bare to leave thier children, so they hid them in the houses during the day. Can you imagine a 3 yr old all alone the whole day while mum and dad went to work!! Also the Swiss got them working 11 month contracts, that way they still had to pay contributions, like pensions, but as they didnt stay here for 12 months, were not aloud to claim them.

In the end they went back to Sicily, one Sicilian said, lets go to Australia, and so like sheep, they all followed and built a life in a country they had never heard of.

What a life....
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  #102  
Old 11.06.2009, 13:22
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

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My Grandfather who was in the Fleet Air Arm flying Hurricanes and Spitfires, and was subsequently a liason officer between the British, American and Free French forces fighting in the Lorrach area told me this one in the pub after a couple of drinks about 8 years ago when I told him I was off to Switzerland. He died in 2005, not sure what influence that would have on him being a reliable source.
He was in any case the bravest old b*gger I ever knew, he and two mates were the only survivors of three squadrons of 18? men in the Battle of Britain.
It took me a while to realise that his version of events and the one taught to the Swiss were all referring to the same incident. Thinking about it though, if the Americans were really lost, you would have to ask where they had initially intended to go. Stuttgart, 250 miles to the north?

Cheers

Jim
According to the article in Wikipidia the target was Ludwigshafen am Rhein (about 235 km north of Schaffhausen).
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  #103  
Old 13.06.2009, 21:35
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

I came to Basel in 1974, then there were CHF 14 to the £. Also had to have an x-ray, but in a respective place near the Bahnhof.

Many of the restaurants are much the same barring being redecorated or modernised. The one I used to frequent back then (went to it's 2nd birthday party) is still going strong and now even my kids spend a lot of time there.

Prices used to be very expensive for a poor au-pair and I remember buying a pullover for 29.90, which was considered the lower end of the prices, which shows quality has dropped over the years. Similar story for shoes too.

Only 6 Swiss TV channels and 2 German channels back then.
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  #104  
Old 27.12.2010, 21:23
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

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...a very different economic system (where all types of unexpected goods are labled "Made in Switzerland")...
I would like to hear more about this.
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  #105  
Old 27.12.2010, 21:57
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

Not only in Australia were children taken away from their parents. It also did happen in Switzerland, mainly from Women who had an unexpected child. The gouvernment took away children and sent them to a family where they had to work hard, got beaten up and abused. Sometimes even unmaried pregnant women were sent to the prison and newborn babys taken away.
Someone told me who grew up in a orphange, they were badly abused, locked up in a room when they did something wrong they got beaten up until they wetted themself.

Also some idiots blew up a nuclear reactor in 1969, the reason behind was to develop nuclear waepons.
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  #106  
Old 27.12.2010, 22:02
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

I think this is the Swissinfo article on the issue of stolen generation - Verdingkinder

Video is here.

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The story of tens of thousands of Swiss children who were sold or given away as cheap labour is slowly coming to light.

Although many of these child workers were beaten and even sexually abused, the practice was allowed to continue throughout Switzerland until the 1950s.
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  #107  
Old 27.12.2010, 22:05
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

Ah - Max und Moritz - what a childhood memory. And Struwwelpeter! Also German, but still a part of my Swiss upbringing.

I came back to visit relatives in 1998 and left with a copy of both for my (yet to be born) children.
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  #108  
Old 27.12.2010, 23:03
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

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I would like to hear more about this.
A) the economic system in Switzerland is very similar to those in Germany, France and Italy
B) as soon as the "value" of a product is 60% Switzerland-made, the product of course is "Made in Switzerland". And as Switzerland is one of the most industrialized countries in the world, the results is fairly obvious, and I fail to understand where the sensation is
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  #109  
Old 27.12.2010, 23:14
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

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A) the economic system in Switzerland is very similar to those in Germany, France and Italy
B) as soon as the "value" of a product is 60% Switzerland-made, the product of course is "Made in Switzerland". And as Switzerland is one of the most industrialized countries in the world, the results is fairly obvious, and I fail to understand where the sensation is
I was more interested in the "unexpected goods" that were made in Switzerland. I buy a lot of Swiss made goods and am always looking for new interesting things.
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  #110  
Old 27.12.2010, 23:24
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

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I was more interested in the "unexpected goods" that were made in Switzerland. I buy a lot of Swiss made goods and am always looking for new interesting things.
A really good question as such, but of course, unexpected by who ? unexpected why ? I mean it is fairly obvious that the industry also serves the home market .... beside the decisive international one.

> Please realize that this here is a rather old thread ! So that you are not very likely to get
replies to questions asked after a year or more
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  #111  
Old 27.12.2010, 23:43
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

What an interesting thread!!

I have a quick question. Where do you guys think I could find information on the house I'm living in (it's a pretty old house here in Wetzikon)? I mean information like when it was built and history related stuff.
The thing is, I kinda need this info to be in English, if possible... that's why I'm having a hard time finding it, I guess...

Btw, on the first page someone said there was a house where people started to have flushing toilets on 1985. That made me shiver. There's a little "poo door" on the wall here on the second floor of our house. Right beside my bathroom. I thought that hadn't been used in a much longer time than that... (and I'm not even 100% sure that that is in fact a "poo door", it's just a small metal door that has like a tunnel that goes down to the basement... and there's some ash in there. Since it's right next to the bathroom, I thought that's what it was used for, back in the days)
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  #112  
Old 27.12.2010, 23:54
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

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What an interesting thread!!

I have a quick question. Where do you guys think I could find information on the house I'm living in (it's a pretty old house here in Wetzikon)? I mean information like when it was built and history related stuff.
The thing is, I kinda need this info to be in English, if possible... that's why I'm having a hard time finding it, I guess...

Btw, on the first page someone said there was a house where people started to have flushing toilets on 1985. That made me shiver. There's a little "poo door" on the wall here on the second floor of our house. Right beside my bathroom. I thought that hadn't been used in a much longer time than that... (and I'm not even 100% sure that that is in fact a "poo door", it's just a small metal door that has like a tunnel that goes down to the basement... and there's some ash in there. Since it's right next to the bathroom, I thought that's what it was used for, back in the days)
Go to the Grundbuchamt and there ask for somebody speaking English. They have all the details in question. And 1985 ? Flushing toilets were in use in Switzerland since at least the 1930ies. I suppose somebody had a doubtful writing and meant 1935 and then it may make a bit of sense
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  #113  
Old 28.12.2010, 00:56
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

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A really good question as such, but of course, unexpected by who ? unexpected why ? I mean it is fairly obvious that the industry also serves the home market .... beside the decisive international one.

> Please realize that this here is a rather old thread ! So that you are not very likely to get
replies to questions asked after a year or more
Didn't notice it was an old thread, I followed a link to this in another thread...

Anyways I can't speak for the other person as to what is unexpected to be made in Switzerland but for me its been Bosch powertools as I thought they would be made in China or similar, or a Brugger & Thomet TP9 I was very suprised its not assembled in the US to get around import restrictions, or Wiha pliers as usually they are made in Vietnam. Here in America we pretty much expect everything to be made in China these days and when something isn't its unexpected. So if you know of anything made in Switzerland unexpected or not I would love to hear about it.
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  #114  
Old 28.12.2010, 02:32
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

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I think this is the Swissinfo article on the issue of stolen generation - Verdingkinder

Video is here.
I do not need a "Article" about this ,I experienced it
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  #115  
Old 13.03.2011, 13:11
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

I stumbled across this book, Switzerland, by John L Stoddard from 1901 online. There are 17 separate sections available. I have only had a brief look at it but will be looking in more detail some time.
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  #116  
Old 13.03.2011, 16:27
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

OK, maybe it's not that long ago, but when I moved here in 1987 there were no automatic teller machines, you waited in line at the bank if you wanted cash. The Zurich Hauptbahnhof was a pretty seedy place on only one level with dark, smokey run-down restaurants, and an xxx theatre in front. I may have brought the first mountain bike with me, based on the stares I would get biking through Zurich. Credit cards were taboo accepted nowhere. All shops shut promptly at 18.00, and Saturdays at 16.00, no exceptions, and on Sunday you couldn't buy anything, anywhere, to save your life. There was no Internet, no mobile phones, no English anything except the Int'l Herald Tribune. Extremely limited TV channels. I think the first one was CNN.
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  #117  
Old 13.03.2011, 16:43
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

Sorry I missed this thread when it was in full bloom. I still got a kick out of reading it after today's brunch.

I cannot resist adding my two centimes too.

X-ray tuberculosis screening on immigrant workers was a very important thing to do and actually still is. Although TB was practically eliminated in Switzerland by the mid fifties, that was not the case in many other countries in Europe.

Even these days, about one third of the world population are carriers of TB. There was a serious outbreak of multi-drug resistant TB even in New York City, and that in the 'nineties. So TB screening was not far-fetched at all.

In the 'sixties, Wohngemeinschaften (flat-sharing communities) with pretty lax morals were absolutely common in bigger cities, no matter what laws said. As an university student, you were considered terribly conservative if you didn't play along.

There was the saying, imported from Germany, "Wer zweimal mit derselben pennt, gehört schon zum Establishment" (He who sleeps twice with the same gal is already a member of the establishment). I saw many such mixed-gender communities in St. Gallen, Zürich, Bern, Lausanne and Geneva, although I never belonged to any of them because I was "taken" anyway.

Of course you cannot compare London or Liverpool with the mountain valleys of the Upper Valais, just like you cannot compare Zurich with Bradwell-on-Sea, Essex, or Oconto, Wisconsin.

It is a fact that night life in Swiss cities was not exactly a highlight in the 'sixties, 'seventies and 'eighties. There was a lot going on every evening, but evening meant evening, not night. There were only very few bars, clubs and the like that were allowed to be open during the second half of the night. By the way, I assume it isn't much different now; I just don't care any more. Guess I'm growing old.

There was the pun, "Am Tag ist Zürich ein Häusermeer, am Abend ein Lichtermeer und nach Mitternacht gar nichts mehr" (By day, in Zurich there is a sea of houses, in the evening there is a sea of lights, and after midnight there's nothing to see [Yeah, I know, getting the gist of this pun across is a bit awkward]).

Austrians said, "Zurich is almost twice as big as the Central Cemetery in Vienna, but only half as amusing."

As for the bombs dropped on Switzerland by allied planes in WWII, there were rumors that said it was not due to navigational errors but due to the fact that Swiss industry produced stuff for Germany, which, by the way, was unavoidable in view of the huge pressure exerted by the Axis Powers, which had the country in their firm strategic stranglehold.

However, how come the Allied Forces bombed Stein am Rhein, a quaint little medieval town, Samedan, GR, a mountain village, both places with no industry of importance, and the Strickhof Agricultural School on what is now the Irchel Campus of the University of Zurich? Does anyone seriously believe the Allied bombers killed those innocent people (Stein am Rhein) and destroy those civil structures (Samedan and Zurich) just to cover up the "fact" that they had also bombed Oerlikon (Bürle), the railroad bridge in Wipkingen, Zurich (Maag Industries nearby), and Schaffhausen (SIG)? Come on....

Of course, indoor plumbing including flushing toilets was standard in most places in Switzerland already long before the 'thirties Wolli mentioned. On the other hand, there may be a few mountain farms in the side valleys of the Lower Engadine that still have gravity drained toilet seats these days. So what? That's the case also in many, many places in the USA, and they are even proud of it.

Switzerland had sewage water treatment plants in most settlements already in the sixties, whereas now, fifty years later, most suburban and rural homes in many parts of the USA still let their fecal bacteria rot away in a so-called septic field in the back yard, a concept that would cause an uproar in Switzerland and pretty serious health problems to boot.

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OK, maybe it's not that long ago, but when I moved here in 1987 there were no automatic teller machines, you waited in line at the bank if you wanted cash. The Zurich Hauptbahnhof was a pretty seedy place on only one level with dark, smokey run-down restaurants, and an xxx theatre in front. I may have brought the first mountain bike with me, based on the stares I would get biking through Zurich. Credit cards were taboo accepted nowhere. All shops shut promptly at 18.00, and Saturdays at 16.00, no exceptions, and on Sunday you couldn't buy anything, anywhere, to save your life. There was no Internet, no mobile phones, no English anything except the Int'l Herald Tribune. Extremely limited TV channels. I think the first one was CNN.
Arew you sure you were in Zurich, Switzerland? One of my cousins worked for Telekurs in the early 'eighties, the company that ran all the ATMs all over the country. Granted, they were not in every grocery store as they are in the USA.

Credit cards were not accepted by most little stores because the system that still is used in the USA was deemed unsafe, and it still is.

Believe it or not, mountain bikes were meant to be used the mountains, so maybe that's why you got funny looks in downtown Zurich.

By the way, how many German channels do you get in the USA? Now, not in the 'eighties.
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  #118  
Old 13.03.2011, 19:11
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

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I stumbled across this book, Switzerland, by John L Stoddard from 1901 online. There are 17 separate sections available. I have only had a brief look at it but will be looking in more detail some time.
Thanks. Just made a print of all chapters. The pictures of Axenstrasse and Flüelen reminded me of our first trips by car to Italy in the late 50ies (we did go by train before).
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Old 13.03.2011, 19:21
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

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OK, maybe it's not that long ago, but when I moved here in 1987 there were no automatic teller machines, you waited in line at the bank if you wanted cash. The Zurich Hauptbahnhof was a pretty seedy place on only one level with dark, smokey run-down restaurants, and an xxx theatre in front. I may have brought the first mountain bike with me, based on the stares I would get biking through Zurich. Credit cards were taboo accepted nowhere. All shops shut promptly at 18.00, and Saturdays at 16.00, no exceptions, and on Sunday you couldn't buy anything, anywhere, to save your life. There was no Internet, no mobile phones, no English anything except the Int'l Herald Tribune. Extremely limited TV channels. I think the first one was CNN.
I moved here in 1986, and there were certainly ATMs (the first I had ever seen/used), I had no problem using my credit cards (mainly AMEX), and I remember shops shutting at 18:30 (as they still do). This was Zurich, don't know what Ticino was like then as I only moved here in 1990.

Oh, and there were mobile phones than as well, but they were the size of a small suitcase!

Tom
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Old 13.03.2011, 19:21
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

I love this site.. the authentic Switzerland in the olden days

http://www.notrehistoire.ch/


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