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The enemy of the state number 1, the defeated, the ETH

"enemy of the state number 1". There are people who would find this title a little flattering. Jürg Brechbühl is called, however, even so, and is, thus, one has the feeling of being proud of it. "No Bernese wins for so many years, so many court cases against the authorities as I am," he says.

It's a Sunny afternoon in the autumn. Jürg Brechbühl is sitting at the dining room table of his house in Horben at Eggiwil (BE). He looks back on the weeks, the nerves were wracking him but also in his Conviction was strengthened by the fight that it is worth. His opponent this time the ETH Zurich. There, he had applied for the Master degree programme in environmental Sciences. The management refused him: He was going to take a long time to be able to have the study complete.


Jürg Brechbühl is different than other students. Not only because of his age of 55 years, but also because of a no fault road traffic accident in which he suffered a brain injury. He takes a SIP of water before he begins to tell. It happened in a rainy night in February 1995. Brechbühl was maybe 80 miles an hour on the motorway, when another Motorist crashed with 130 to the rear. "After the impact I sat for 10 seconds unconscious at the wheel." The car drove on. Eventually, Brechbühl listened to his girlfriend in the passenger seat screaming: "Stop! Stop!" He drove to the emergency lane, stopped, and realized only later what had happened.

"all of a Sudden I was overwhelmed at the simplest Problem. If I spilled a pack of rice, I didn't know what I should do."Jürg Brechbühl about his time after the accident,

After the accident, Brechbühls Neck hurts "like hell". The Doctors diagnosed a whiplash injury. But the more time passed, the worse it went for him. Eventually, even the Doctors, it was clear that The brain injury is more severe than first assumed.


Up to the accident night Jürg Brechbühl biology studied at the University of Bern. After that, he had to education was interrupted. "I was overwhelmed at the simplest Problem. If I spilled in the kitchen, a pack of rice, I didn't know what I should do." Even today, 24 years later, the consequences of the accident was omnipresent. "I get tired extremely quickly," says Brechbühl. In busy places, in unfamiliar surroundings, he is working after two to three hours, and had to pull back and rest.

Only after years of Rehabilitation he was able to continue studies in biology in Bern again. Almost two years ago, he completed the diploma hangs framed in the living room.


Last year, applied Brechbühl for the Master's degree programme at ETH Zurich. In the assessment of the ETH-Board a doctor's certificate from the year 2016. According to this, Jürg Brechbühl is only 20 percent for entrance to University, he would need for the study, therefore, is approximately ten years. The maximum duration of study is four years. Therefore, the ETH Board rejected him.

Is fascinated with time in his adult life, from artificial Ecosystems: Jürg Brechbühl. Photo: Christian Pfander,

let the biologist do not offer. He took a lawyer, lodged a complaint – and actually get it right. Brechbühl have provided the Proof, the studies within to be able to significantly less than ten years to complete, writes the complaint to the Commission in your judgment. A few years ago, visited Brechbühl at the ETH, namely, a so-called mobility semester. There he reached scores between 5.5 and 6.0, collected 23 of the usual 30 credit points. His ability to study in this Semester was 77 percent. Therefore, the appeals Commission decided that Brechbühl allowed to study. And that, to him, the ETH must also pay a 10'000 Swiss francs for the lawyer.

The media frenzy

The ETH Board has accepted the judgment. "Wait a moment", says Jürg Brechbühl, go up the stairs to the office, comes with a small piece of paper back down and stretches it to the visitor. "Enrollment confirmation" on it. A few weeks ago, the first Semester has begun. The entry at ETH was a success, reported Brechbühl. The students, who could be his daughters and sons, would accept him. "Soon, you will have felt that I am curious and the Lectures are with me alive."

Jürg Brechbühl feel of the co-student on the inside and fellow students at the ETH Zurich accepted. (Image: ETH Zurich/Alessandro Della Bella)

Jürg Brechbühl is not Reconciled because of it. In his Blog "Geit's no? New public enemy No. 1" as well as in the media in Zurich, and reported on his victory, he makes more than the mood against the ETH. He accuses the federally-Technical College not to discriminate against disabled people in a systematic way. The ETH is defending itself against this accusation.

The "riffraff"

to A wider audience is by Jürg Brechbühl, and its readers ' comments known. On media portals, he speaks to all sorts of topics, from herd protection dogs parents evenings up to credit card fees. The tone is sometimes so angriffig, that one wonders: spotted people on the head? He says it this way: "I am aware of the point, so I'm going to be perceived."

Also, various Bernese authorities Brechbühls attack desire to know. He himself tells how he has won in the past 23 years, more than a dozen court proceedings. Against the University of Bern, the Inselspital, the IV site, the tax administration, the judiciary and the police Directorate and a few more. "Every Time it went to rights, which accrue to all residents." Unzimperlich Brechbühl writes in his Blog about the "authorities mafia, which means you are the master and we the subjects". Sometimes he exceeds the bounds of decency, such as when he referred to authorities in the Public flat as a "miserable, drunken, bekifftes, fucked-up rag-and-pack".

family history

"Yes," weiss, Jürg Brechbühl, "I'm hard to to the people, but even harder to myself." Since the car accident he had to solve countless problems and battles to fight – such as with the liability insurance of the accident causer who don't want to pay to have. A whole 15 years of this law lasted for a fight. "Then the insurance was defeated and had to pull the trigger," says Brechbühl. Also thanks to this money, he comes today to make ends meet financially.

"Yes, I'm hard to to the people, but even harder to myself."Jürg Brechbühl about his belligerent blog entries

In a conversation at the dining room table acts Jürg Brechbühl is more conciliatory than in his blog entries. Again and again he gives himself to the water, sometimes he struggles for words. This was also due to his brain injury, he says. Sometime during the Afternoon, the old Buffet made of wood, which is behind the dining room table comes. "This is an heirloom of the family," says Brechbühl. "You know, I am the First in our family to go to University." His grandmother, for example, Born in 1909, grew up with seven siblings in a tiny house in the Bern Länggasse. Each child got a slice of bread per day to eat, so close the family was.


Brechbühls parents were very connected to nature. Early on, she emigrated to East Africa, lived five years in Ethiopia. Political discussions in the family everyday life: "The rapid, destructive changes in the third world, the excesses of the Communist planned economy, the complicity of our left-wing intellectuals, the naivety of the Swiss, not even noticed what's going on out there in the world." This political family climate has shaped Brechbühl, until today.

And what next for him? Time in his adult life he was fascinated by artificial Ecosystems, says Jürg Brechbühl. He tells of a project in Kenya, where a cement company limestone had to be mined. After the decommissioning, no life was in the quarry and more. Then people began, an artificial Ecosystem in which now and again the trees grow and animals live. "This is my Vision," he says. At the ETH he could deepen his Knowledge about such Ecosystems. Therefore, he had fought for the study. The only reason why.

Created: 07.11.2019, 11:28 PM

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