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Jenseits des Réduit: Die Schweiz und die Berge in Zeiten der Dekolonisierung

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2013
Author Purtschert Patricia,
Project Kolonialismus ohne Kolonien? Eine postkoloniale Diskursanalyse der Schweiz
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Geschichte
Volume (Issue) 63(2)
Page(s) 250 - 268
Title of proceedings Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Geschichte


The semantic significance of the mountains for Switzerland in the middle of the 20th century has been intensively examined. The present article encourages the widening of the scope of this research by a postcolonial perspective. It brings to mind the part played by Swiss expeditions in the race to the first ascent of the highest mountains of the world in the Himalayas. This symbolically highly charged competition took place in times of decolonization and has been interpreted as an imperial showdown as well as the setting of a new post-colonial world order. This article enquires how the prominent roles of Swiss mountaineers and the keen interest of the Swiss public in these events can be interpreted. It becomes clear that the importance of the mountains for the development of identity in the way Switzerland saw itself was fed by imaginary colonialism.