Philipp Krauer is a historian at ETH Zurich. Together with Bernhard C. Schär, he is researching the history of Swiss colonial mercenaries in Indonesia in the ‘Swiss Tools of Empire’ project.
A bloody slaying in Bärschwil in Solothurn laid bare the global scars left by colonial violence in the late 19th century.
Between 1815 and 1914 around 7,600 Swiss mercenaries served in the Dutch colonial army. In search of work and adventure, they aided the violent expansion of the Dutch colonial empire in what is now Indonesia.