Ernst Koehli (1913-1983) was a interested people. He photographed them when laying the cables, the tie to sew, when you Demonstrate. In Black-And-White. With his images he put an intimate look at the life in the work milieu from which he came. Usually in the order of unions, political parties, charities, and industry. So the Zurich – based photographer to chronicler of the war and post-war Switzerland. For forgotten but. A new book offers insight into his work.

women’s stitching fly

The Second world war was over, the boom came quickly. Across the country, new factories went up. Up in the ‘ 60s, the industry employed half of the working population. These now wanted to spend your money, wanted to go to the privation of time optically something to attack. Seamstresses were in high demand at that time. The profession was seen as something right. So sat many a young woman with her apron in a factory and sewed the ties and bow ties. Just like here in 1946.

Swissair picked up from

During the war, aircraft were used as a killer machine. Thereafter, the silver shining birds gave the people freedom and a piece wanted more and more. The Swissair grew strongly: it Had in 1946, 206 employees, it was five years later, already in 1600. The men in the workshops were the pioneers. They around focused on new inventions, developed the aircraft constantly. So far, that in 1947, the first long-haul flight to New York was possible. A children’s game was not so. Each step of the hand work – from the pilot who navigated the bird by hand through the air, Navi was up to the mechanic, the parts are removed regularly and the aircraft, examined, and re-installed. Tact was even asked if the men filled the machines with travel suitcases. The loads had to be ideally distributed, otherwise it was dangerous.

As all of the telephone

were Actually the triumph of the phone began in the beginning of the 20th century. Century. Worldwide, at least. In Switzerland you had more time. At the beginning of the 1940s, in some villages only a single phone. The Swiss Postal, telephone and Telegraph (PTT) in wanted to change that and hired thousands of telephone craftsmen. It was called “Kabeler”. They went out and laid fist-thick cable bundles in the soil. Other mounted masts the cable at a dizzying height to the phone. The use was worth it: in 1952, there was hardly a household that had no phone.

time of the strike waves

Today, the climate protection brings the people on the street, during the Second world war, the working conditions were. The war drove up prices, the workers had to cope with a sharp real wage loss. Soon the rumor of a second General strike made the round. The government trembled. Therefore, the Federal Council in 1944, promised the introduction of old – age and survivors insurance (AHV) remained in place until 1948. This is not enough for the workers but. They went on strike in the post-war years. To numerous collective bargaining agreements better conditions pledged. And until 1950, the economy boomed.

In the home the state provides

60’000 people are cared for in the last century in institutions. Without that they would have done something. Because they did not meet the social Norm. Like these people here in 1946 in the citizen’s home in Herisau. They were old, poor, deaf, mute, or were regarded as retarded. They had a busy life. And had to self-help in old age in the house and in the field of economy in the home. Were looking for stones in the fields, freed of potatoes from its roots. They are witnesses and victims of a dark Chapter of Swiss history.

Edited by Christian Koller and Raymond Naef, “chronicler of the social Switzerland” Here and Now publishing, 2019, 59 Fr.: Book launch on Thursday, 24. October, 19.30, office-gym, Kanzleistrasse 56, Zürich