Without a revolution - militancy in the workers movement in Switzerland during the First World War

Hermann, Katharina Eleonora (4 April 2018). Without a revolution - militancy in the workers movement in Switzerland during the First World War (Unpublished). In: European Social Science History Conference. Belfast. 4.-7. April 2018.

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Although Switzerland was not a belligerent nation and did not undergo a revolution during or in the aftermath of the First World War, it never was a peaceful island. The war had diverse impacts on the state and its people. As a neutral country in the centre of Europe, it attracted pacifists and socialists from all over Europe. Inflation and food shortage led to demonstrations, strikes and market riots. The general strike in November 1918 is today
regarded as the greatest crisis in the history of the Swiss Confederation. However, only
scant research is currently available on these topics, especially when it comes to women
and gender history.
With a closer look at the strikes and demonstrations in Switzerland, women and militant
activities come into sight: The market riots in 1916 and the women’s hunger demonstration in the summer of 1918 are two examples of the ways in which women actively participated in the political activities in the streets. Women standing on the rails in Bienne to stop the trains during the general strike, the story of the young socialist Anny Morf, who in 1919 decided to engage in the revolutionary movement in Bavaria, and the importance of the category of nationality in the reactions to strikes and demonstrations, inspire the question of gender, nationality and militancy.
In my paper, I will explore the intersections of gender, class and nationality in radical political actions in Switzerland. How did gender relations influence militant political actions? How can militancy be theorized in the specific context of Switzerland? How does nationality influence the perception of (certain) women as militant?

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History > Swiss History

UniBE Contributor:

Hermann, Katharina Eleonora


900 History > 940 History of Europe




Katharina Eleonora Hermann

Date Deposited:

21 Mar 2019 13:23

Last Modified:

21 Mar 2019 13:23



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