On 10 September 1898, Luigi Lucheni murdered the Austrian Empress Sisi in Geneva. After his arrest, he asked to be beheaded. The Swiss judiciary refused his request. In the end, though, the anarchist did lose his head…
Ill-matched adversaries from the same corner of the country. In 1386, erstwhile ‘neighbours’ faced each other on the battlefield at Sempach. The age of knights and castles was coming to an end. The future belonged to the burgeoning cities and towns.
Abused, not cared for – these few words sum up the fate of countless children, adolescents and adults in Switzerland up into the 1970s. Under the title ‘Vom Glück vergessen’ (Forgotten by happiness), the Rätisches Museum Chur vividly brings to life for its audience the reality of ‘enforced welfare measures’.
The plague epidemic in the Middle Ages, and its aftermath, readily invites comparison with the coronavirus pandemic. In his fascinating account of the ‘Great Plague’, however, historian Volker Reinhardt also warns of the limitations of such comparisons.