Museum Burg Zug
Kirchenstrasse 11
CH-6300 Zug
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June 19th 2019 to January 26th 2020

Emergency! Switzerland during the Cold War

2019 will see the 30th anniversary of the end of the Cold War. The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the political upheaval in the Eastern bloc states represented an historical caesura. Characteristic traits of the Cold War included the pervading fear of a nuclear war as well as mutual feelings of distrust and suspicion. From the 1970s onwards, social demands increasingly began to override the political and ideological conflict.

The «balance of terror» was also tangible in Switzerland. Politics, society, the economy and culture were much affected by the Cold War and its enemy stereotypes. The political climate was highly charged and characterised by anti-communist bias. Against the background of a growing anti-nuclear and peace movement, Switzerland experienced socio-political tensions that erupted publicly in 1989 with the «Fichenskandal» or secret files scandal and an initiative that called for the Swiss army to be abolished launched by GSoA, the Group for a Switzerland Without an Army.

The exhibition traces the formation of bipolar worldviews during the Cold War period, outlines the mutual enemy stereotypes and highlights the political and social antagonisms that arose from them.