High Quality Submissions in Swiss History Competition 2019

Swiss History Competition winners and tutor 2019 | Photo: Daniel Steiner
Swiss History Competition winners and tutor 2019 | Photo: Daniel Steiner

The ninth award ceremony of the Swiss National History Competition took place on 18 May 2019 at the National Museum in Zurich. Due to the high standard of the submissions, the jury decided to award three first, second and third prizes this year. Katja Fausser, Programme Director of the EUSTORY Network, invited the award winners to apply for the upcoming Next Generation Summit.

The topic of the competition was “Youth in Motion” and the fifty entries were submitted in all four national languages. For the first time, one of the prize-winning works was in Rhaeto-Romanic, the fourth national language besides German, French and Italian.

In the category “Matura Thesis” (secondary school state exam), the jury awarded first prize for the outstanding contributions of Hughes Despond (Collège du Sud) for his work "La Croix de cristal de Gruyères" ("The Crystal Cross of Gruyères") and Salome Erni (Kantonsschule Beromünster) for his work "Von holden Ritter und reichen Patriziern. Wartensee im Wandel der Zeit" ("Of fair knights and rich patricians. Wartensee in the course of time") as well as to Sophia Koll (Rämibühl High School for Mathematics and Natural Sciences) for her work „Engagierte BDM-Mädels. Eine Analyse persönlicher Motive für eine Mitgliedschaft im ‚Bund Deutscher Mädel‘ anhand von Originalquellen“ ("Involved BDM Girls. An analysis of personal motives for membership in the 'Bund Deutscher Mädel' on the basis of original sources").

No less impressive is the variety of topics among the runners-up:

Gioele Beltraminelli (Liceo di Lugano 1), Joanne Castelmur (Kantonsschule Freudenberg) and Lorenzo Andrea Ferrazzini (Liceo di Lugano 1) for their works "Da Benigno Meroni a Protasio Tagliabue: una fuga oltreconfine" ("From Benigno Meroni to Protasio Tagliabue: a cross-border escape"), "Thea in Tomils. Die Schweizerische Kinderhilfe im Dialog zwischen Zeitzeugen und offiziellen Stellen von 1940–1950“ ("Swiss Children's Aid in dialogue between contemporary witnesses and official bodies from 1940-1950") and "Augusto e Giovanni Battista Fogliardi. Due personaggi dimenticati dell' Ottocento ticinese" ("Augusto and Giovanni Battista Fogliardi. Two forgotten persons from the 19th century in Ticino").

The three third-placed Julia Engel (Kantonsschule Wattwil), Anna Hauser (Gymnasium Hofwil, Münchenbuchsee) and Seraina Zanetti (Hochalpines Institut Ftan) did research about chimney sweeps who emigrated to Italy from Ticino, the fate of homeless people in Switzerland in the middle of the 19th century using an example from family history, as well as with the efforts towards self-sufficiency in the Lower Engadine.

In the category "Creative Works", the first prize went to Norma De Min, Selina Gruber and Julia Hunkeler (Kantonsschule Baden) for their work "IKUZEBA - Baden in Bewegung" ("IKUZEBA - Baden on the move"). The second prize was awarded to Lia von Moos (Kantonsschule Alpenquai, Lucerne) for her work "Dokumentarfilm: Eine Frage der Zivilcourage – Max Waibel in ‚Operation Sunrise‘" ("Documentary: A Question of Civil Courage - Max Waibel in 'Operation Sunrise'"). The third prize went to the class G2k of the Kantonsschule Baden for their successful magazine "Aufbruch 68/71 in Baden" ("Awakening 68/71 in Baden") for the current exhibition in the Historisches Museum Baden.

Like in the previous years, the award ceremony was accompanied by an exciting programme. The guests had the opportunity to meet the young researchers in small groups and talk about their research results. Guided tours through the new permanent exhibition on the history of Switzerland and the special exhibition “Swissness” at the National Museum in Zurich were an insightful excursion. The various parts of the award ceremony were linked by musical intermezzi at the highest level by two young women, the cellist Laura Walther and the violist Francesca Pittini. At the end, all participants and their relatives enjoyed a sumptuous buffet.

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