Friday, September 29, 2017

Lenin in Zürich

The Badische Zeitung in collaboration with the Landeszentrale für politische Bildung organized a day trip by bus to Zürich where Lenin lived from February 1916 to April 1917.

Leaving Freiburg we saw Lenin greeting from an election poster
 for the Marxist Leninist Party of Germany.
In the federal election of September 24, the party gained 0.1% of the votes.
Good morning, Zürich. We expected some rain.
Sexist segregation. For ladies only:
What is named Damenbad in Freiburg is called Frauenbad in Zürich
Another revolutionary:
Ulrich Zwingli who brought his Protestant religion to Zürich.
Our group visited the site of the house on Spiegelgasse where Lenin had rented an apartment and one of the three libraries, the Library of the Swiss Social Archive, where he spent most of his time reading and writing.

Entrance to Spiegelgasse
with the Cabaret Voltaire, the birthplace of Dadaism.
Lenin's apartment at Spiegelgasse 14,
a nondescript new building.
More celebrities worthy of a blog lived in Zürich's Spiegelgasse.

A house built in 1740 and named Zum Waldris at Spiegelgasse 11:
Johann Caspar Lavater lived here from 1741 (in a new building!) to 1778.
Traveling in Switzerland, Goethe visited Lavater in 1775.
At Spiegelgasse 13 Georg Büchner, revolutionary, doctor of medicine,
and as an author a master of the German language
died of typhoid fever at the age of 24 on February 19, 1837.
Table decoration at the Turm restaurant: Advent wreath with candles and apples on September 19.
Red Baron loves Swiss wine and abhors Swiss beer made by large breweries.
The restaurant only offered Spanish wine. I overcame the dilemma by ordering a Spanish beer.
Zürcher Geschnetzeltes (Zurich-style veal stew) with Rösti (fried grated potatoes).
The meat was a turkey instead of veal, the rösti was not crusty, but the melon was an extra.
All in all, it was a good three-course meal for a reasonable price.
Satisfied fellow travelers leaving the Turm restaurant
Before lunch, we listened to lectures on Marxism-Leninism and after lunch on Lenin's influence on Swiss and European socialism while he stayed in Switzerland.

Professor Koller talked about the Swiss Social Archive and Lenin in Switzerland

Eventually, Lenin moved from Bern to Zürich because the libraries were better
There is no Lenin without Marx, but in this blog, I shall describe our trip and will explain in a future blog what I learned about Marxism-Leninism and write down what may be interesting to my American readers.

Lenin's April Theses
Before he traveled by train through Germany, Sweden, and Finland to Petrograd (later Leningrad, now St. Petersburg) to lead the Bolshevik Revolution, Lenin formulated his April Theses while still in Zürich: Peace, land, and bread. All power to the Soviets and to the working class.

Lenin's arrival in Petrograd by train from Finland
Lenin was successful with the Bolshevik Revolution for his Russians, having been slaughtered by thousands in the war, wanted peace above all.

Goodbye, Zürich, goodbye, Großmünster 


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