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The deadly riot in front of the district building

It's Zurich branch road, said: the law firm of street, in district 4. Between the Rotwand and anchor street, she is stopped by a massive complex of buildings: the district building. Metal gates block the passage on the page to mount and anchor road.

This was not always so. On old cards and photos over good to see how the firm road was before the construction of the district building, and even many years, after its opening in 1916, is consistently accessible and passable, the traffic is passed through the district building at the prison of Zurich.

However, in 1922, was the firm's street was cordoned off at the district building. The trigger for the so-called assault on the district building was on 13. June 1919: In the case of serious unrest, three people came in that day at the district building claimed the lives of two apprentices, and a Canton police officer; 14 people were injured admitted to the hospital. The ruckus in the heated atmosphere just after the country strike of November 1918 as one of the most bloody political conflicts in Zurich's recent history. Of a "blood night," wrote the social-democratic "people's law" the day after.

"For the world revolution"

the trigger for the unrest was the funeral of the murdered Rosa Luxemburg in Berlin on 13. June. On this occasion, the socialist Zurich workers ' Union "workers and Enjoyed called" a solidarity rally.

"We want to bear witness on the day of the funeral of Rosa Luxembourg, a powerful Demonstration of our international solidarity, and by a big parade to show that we are ready for the world revolution, to stand up and fight," it was said in leaflets. "We have also lead the fight against the Bourgeoisie and the reactionary governments in their own country."

The Zurich city Council had banned a rally on the parade ground, as a precautionary measure. However, the then-social democratic police management Board Alfred Traber (1884-1970) tolerated them anyway. A little later the crowd moved to the district jail in district 4. There, the arrested trade Union Secretary Konrad Wyss had been housed. The rally wanted to bring the arrested Comrades "Serenade", as it says in the book "I was the Trämlergeneral", a 2011 from the archive of the city published a retrospective on the life of Alfred Trabers. The Nickname "Trämlergeneral" had received as President of the trade Union of road workers.

After the riots with fatalities, the social democratic daily newspaper "people's legislation" the day after a "night of blood". (Photo: history of architecture archives)

However, the Situation escalated. The incensed crowd attempted to free the imprisoned trade unionists violently. With pimples and crushing tools of the demonstrators, to break open the doors, tried, stones flew against the window of the district of buildings, a dynamite cartridge exploded, fire broke out.

at some point, the police officers and security guards were inside the district building with their guns. "And now the conservation of the police officers shot in their endangered situation from the Windows of the various floors on the lot, where a number of people hard hit", it reported the NZZ tags.

Apparently, individual protesters were armed. "According to the news Agency of numerous shots fired from the crowd," it was said in the newspaper report. The arrested trade Union Secretary Wyss was left in the same night.

government wants. closure

a Few weeks after the deadly clashes, the government of the city demanded the ultimate in security measures at the district building This city Council protocols in the city archives show. "It has been shown that a completely satisfactory condition is only created if the firm road, the public transport will be withdrawn. This is achievable if the in the anchor street, opening into the vaulted, double-made entrance through strong iron gates, lockable and against the rotwand road open part is also completed," said the councillor of the city.

enlarge map

The city Council agreed. The demand for a better securing of the County jail was to agree "in principle", he said. However, he left it for the time being, in the case of a night-time blocking. With the threat of unrest, the two gates could be closed at any time. The cost for the security measures, he estimated 32'000 Swiss francs.

a criticism of the traffic obstruction

In the municipal Council, the road block caused a heated debate. Socialists and Communists opposed the measure. The heavy iron gates on the firm road to be a massive traffic obstruction, in addition, the Completion of the court's prison "seem like" to criticized you. In a Council meeting in February, 1921, according to the NZZ to scornful between the call of the left: "A few bars more!" However, the city Council gave the critics to understand, the government have claimed "more recently, you should bring the matter to a final conclusion".

Finally, the works were taken at the end of 1921 and 1922 completed. Since then, the firm has interrupted road to the district building. First, the section was closed only at night and on weekends, a few years later, also during the day. When exactly this was made, can no longer identify. According to the municipal civil engineering Department, the records go back only to the mid-1950s, and at that time, the firm, road transport was already in use throughout.

Political aftermath

the aftermath of the storm had on the district building for the police Board to scrapie. He was sentenced because of the continuing breach of duty to six days in jail and 500 francs fine; the prison sentence he had to serve. "The fact that a President of the Zurich city Council will put into prison, is really extraordinary," says Nicola Behrens from the city archives, has examined the little-known Zurich city Council, Traber. Trotter was taken by the way a week's holiday, and the punishment in the County jail in miles done.

Today is The firm's road barred: the district building in Zurich. Photo: Urs Jaudas

in Addition, Trabers command to the police to retreat and had the effect of making him, the city Council stripped the office of the police Board and the Guardianship and arms being transferred. According to Behrens, the social Democrat, had become in 1919 the city Council had to get the police Department by the then civil the city Council majority "against his will" is allocated.

in 1921, belonged to Trotter of the founders of the new Communist party, from which he resigned but a few years later again. As a Communist he had in 1922, no chances to be back in the city Council elected.

As the court pointed

A Parallel with the closure of the firm road in the aftermath of the bloody Uproar Behrens sees in a shut-off action of recent date: those of the Platzspitz Park behind the main railway station. After the eviction, the open drug scene in 1992, the Park was closed.

With the after-effects until today: during the Night the place pointed to is still. This resulted in the blocking of the firm of street, also the subject of some criticism on the left side. In 2017, the city of Zurich, the SP requested the annulment of the night-time closure of the Platzspitz Park, but was unsuccessful.


Created: 06.06.2019, 20:43 PM

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James 6 ay ago

Wow! Sounds scary(