1914: how war changed Swiss life

The first cars rattled over dusty roads, crackling telephones connected people, trams weaved through booming cities – at the start of 1914, Switzerland was dynamic and on the up. But being surrounded by war brought fear and uncertainty to the landlocked, neutral country. One hundred years ago, Switzerland was among the most highly industrialised countries in Europe in terms of per capita production. With 1% of the continent’s population – 3,828,431 inhabitants (less than half the current figure) – it was responsible for 3% of the continent’s exports.  Mobilisation of the Swiss army began on August 2 with Swiss neutrality declared a day later. All Swiss men of military age (20-48) were conscripted. These events in Switzerland coincided with Germany’s declaration  of war on Russia and France in the first three days of August.  Newspapers from the French-speaking part of the country – which were generally pro-Allied Powers, unlike their German-speaking counterparts – … Show more
Source Culture – SWI swissinfo.ch

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