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Hell behind the Magnolia tree

A mediocre April day: On the lake, the waves curl, the Glarner Alps appear to glaze over, the Biswind pulls through the clothes of the Walking. Kurt Treichler along with a brisk step to the sea. His 78 years in Spite of he is running an average of 100 kilometers in the month. At his home in Zurich, in the Oberland, or as now along the lake. However, the distance between Wädenswil and Richterswil is particularly. Seeaufwärts, shortly after the town, it appears the former judge wiler orphanage.

Ten years of his life spent Treichler in this place. He was one of the 304 children who were here from 1909 to 1962.


was something around a narrow road leads to the building of the lake road. Today, people who apply for asylum to stay here. It is a handsome building with a large garden, in the driveway of a Magnolia tree. "I like to remember. Every day we had to the leaves neatly together," says Kurt Treichler, "Woe, it was on the table at the end is still something that the home Manager has not let go."

work, this is the First that comes to his mind when he thinks of the time in the home. No matter what day of the week, what's the weather: always had to be worked on. The children had to cultivate the garden, that meant weeding, vegetable plants, umstechen the beds. The conclusion was, if there was dinner. Even the Little ones had help."In the Winter it was a little better," says Treichler, "there was only the Work in the house". Washing clothes, cleaning the home in shot.

Such homes, such as the one in Richterswil, Switzerland. The foreign placement of children was part of the Swiss social policy. It concerned several tens of thousands of people whose origin or life style did not meet the standards of the time. Authorities placed from the middle of the 19th century. Century to 1981, adults and children on farms, in foster families or homes. All the orphans were not for a long time, many still had parents, as Kurt Treichler.

He had to watch the other punished for the smallest of blunders with violence.

Treichler came in 1941 in Richterswil in difficult circumstances. Alcohol, violence; at some point, the mother fled with the two children to her sister. But the money was missing, so she decided to place the two "foreign". Treichlers sister came to care for families and four-year-old Kurt to the orphanage.

At the time with the parents he has very little memories – think back Kurt Treichler of his Childhood, he thinks of the orphanage.

"We were about twelve boys in a dormitory room, bed to bed, like in a barracks. The girls slept in another room," says Treichler. Every Morning you had to stand up on command, after the Breakfast, the bed neatly."A military education." Treichler has experienced two home with parents: the first couple he was smiling. Of the home Manager, took over the house, as Kurt Treichler was new, had led a strict Regime. It was obedience: those Who did not, was punished. Treichler says, him, have never met. Nevertheless, he had to watch as the other girls and boys were caned for the smallest of blunders with violence.

The teacher gave him such a slap in the face that he fell with the Board on the floor.

Still Treichler, stands in the front yard. "It is specially to be here now", he says, the more he has to say. Time to move on, the lake line along the centre of the village. The reminder comes back to the old school way. Every day they ran into the Töss-school house. In the Winter they got the Kuhnagel and cracked hands from the cold and the scanty dresses in the summer they went barefoot. The children from the orphanage – the one with the dirty feet. "We were the lepers, The other wanted nothing to do with us," says Treichler.

Chicane belonged to the life of the Home, depending on the whim of the Director. Kurt Treichler had to clean up after working out all the shoes and every day at noon, the pans wash. In school, he fell asleep from exhaustion. As the teacher noticed, he quoted him forward and gave him such a slap in the face that he fell with the Board on the floor. In the home the interested in anyone, the potatoes had to be pulled out of the ground. Love and closeness, it was not.


falls to Remind him The goal of the walk is a Café. For the other guests Treichler will appear to be much younger than 78. It looks sporty, with all the Running he has already, in April, a healthy tan. When you Tell me he expresses in mind, also corrected small errors immediately. Remember the case of him that is hard, some things he had forgotten, else he does not want to talk.

He spoke without anger, and chooses, nevertheless, clear words to describe the time in the home: "It was hell." This is true for him, especially with regard to the missed opportunity for an appropriate education. For the teachers, the management, authorities, and committees the school-based promotion of children was not a priority. "In their eyes, we were good for nothing, except to work," says Treichler. "I don't remember that it was said, "blow a book", or someone after the homework asked." The consequences of poor performance in school, and a barely existing self-esteem.

"I have given me great trouble, but to catch up I was able to gap in the and the Knowledge the other had."Kurt Treichler

His salvation was that he was able to change with the age of 14 by the action of the former home of the parents in an Engadine boarding school. "There is only my hard shell had to be cracked: I was locked, repellent, pre-let to anyone to me." Until one day a teacher said to him, he was like this on the head, but fairly intelligent. "I caught cold, never had anyone say that to me," recalls Treichler.

Until today, he could handle praise. Someone make him a compliment, he's the one directly under the skin. The attention had an effect: in Richterswil, he had managed the Crossing in the fourth class, in the Engadine, he wrote, suddenly, 5 series and 6 series. Physically, he shot half a Meter in height.

the ten years of the home but. Lawyer or engineer, that would be Treichler has become. "I have given me great trouble, but to catch up I was able to gap in the and the Knowledge the other had."

From the Federal government accepted

However, despite the adversity made Treichler's career: He completed an apprenticeship, was Fourier in the military, worked as a clerk for various companies In Switzerland and abroad, and consisted of 62 the audit to the Manager of the SBB. The contact to the family, but was never rebuilt. The father, he shunned, the mother and the sister remained time of life distant Acquaintances. To marry and start a family came for Treichler never out of the question. "If it wasn't kept, then I would not have been better than my father."

The time in the home he has kept for a long time: "as soon As someone approached the subject of Childhood, I was on pins and needles, and drew the conversation immediately." Shame and fear of stigma kept him from talking about his Childhood. Changed has been his attitude, as the topic discussed in the last few years more and more in Public. In this way, he also learned from the "Federal act for the reappraisal of the welfare coercive measures and foreign placements prior to 1981", which entered into force in 2017. Today, Kurt Treichler from the Federal government is officially as victims of coercive care, recognized measures.

After three and a half hours, it is time for the farewell, the cafe closes soon. At the train station Treichler increases in the S2, the doors are shut, and the train from Richterswil.


Created: 01.05.2019, 17:48 PM

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