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Chroniques politiques et culturelles (CP) - 02 JAN 1944 - Anglais
     [CP-1944-00-02-EN]


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Aperçu rapide de l'OCR:
impressions of a Swiss lecturer to the
Anglo-Saxons internees "by Dr.Ernst gober.
To-night,I am going to tell you something about the life of the
évadés from South-Africa. They are going to leave within short our
country to which they came about a year ago, after their escape from
Italian prison-camps. They actually represent the strongest dominioncontingent,
having mostly been taken prisonners at Tobruk. It has been
quite a thrill for the Swiss to meet again Britishers, after more than
three years of virtual isolation from all contact with them.
Your boyssin Switzerland live in several camps. Now mind you, by
camps youmust not understand tents with barbed, wires kroind. No, they
live in villages all over the country. Three camps have been establishe
in quite well-known holiday-resorts,, up in the mountains or on à large
lake. Abcomodation is mostly provided in large hotels, which in the
good old times were crowded with tourists from all continents. Althoug
as a rule confined to the area,.of the camp, the évadés move freely
about within that area, on short strolls to the next pub or on longer
walks. Evening mostly finds them in one of the local pubs, having a
drink or two over a chat or a game of bridge. That is,of course if
it is not pictures-night which always are very popular, or a special
occasion like Union-day which I was fortunate enough to celebrate with
the South-Africans of one particular camp, and very merrily tool
The camps are verge well organised now. Whilst relations with Swiss
authorities and the. necessary military control are dealt with by a Swia
officer, a senior British officer is in command of every camp, with a
few officers assisting him. After it has become evident that the évadés
would have to stay quite a while in Switzerland, everyone has been given
opportunity to choose some professional training which might prove
useful at home. Each camp specialised on some particular kind of training
and you will find camps where brick-laying is instructed, others
with courses on electricity, in painting orplombing, in farming or cler
clerk's work. Not only officers are acting as instructors, but also
every chap who has some special knowledge in the particular trade. It
is here where the South-Africans have got quite a reputation, for they
have prosred the most highly educated ones of the crowd. Everybody can
at the same time take up languages.
Sports fering of course about a very welcome change into the daily
life. In winter they skied in a big ways.Now there are swimming-comlons,
"tennis-tournaments, mat ches in foot-ball,basket-ball,.
"boxing and cricket, within the camps,'"'between various camps and between
évadés-teams and SwissVteams. Mounteneering is quite popular with
many,whilst others do not hold with walking uphill and confine their
movements to the dance-floor, dancing to the music provided by their
own bands and learning all about Switzerland by taking out a pretty
girl. It is great fun to attend such a party, in a hall crowded with
chaps in battle-dress enjoying themselves "" -r*1" no +Wn **+ +** pi pnjjyfull
payo aJUttiwu 'bliua. It«*
An excellent and highly popular weekly paper in English,especially
published for British évadés,with the main items of military and politi
cal events from the world brings reports fromm all camps, thus providing
a vivid picture of their various activities.You will find also
good short stories and joäes for entertainment in that paper, as well
as funny cartoons about the évadés-life.
Among my most impressive experiences in one particular camp,where
besides évadés American;internees stay as well, counts the Sunday-evening
church-service,It is conducted by a British padre in turn with a
Swiss priest who for many years has lived abroad. The atmosphere in
this tiny little village-church, crowded with soldiers from every Engli
.' -speaking country reflects very accurately the spiritual union which bi
binds together these men from all over the. world.
The Swiss army has set up a speical organisation for delivering
talks on various topics of interest to the évadés. The British camp
commander is invited to ask for lectures which to his belief might
interest his men, be it on some technical problem, on points of history
or on the military and political developments of our time.I for one
have had great pleasuBB in addressing the évadés of numerous camps,
mostly on current events which I tried to explain from the point of vie'
of an unbiassed Swiss citizen. The topic of course always arises great
interest, the course of these events being so decisive for the future
It is thus that I have made many friends amongst the South-African
évadés, both in the South-African Air Porce whose members stay together
with the other évadés pilots in a separate camp, and in the army, among
officers and other ranks. I fact, I am happy to say that I have met
one South-African Corporal in particular with whom a real lasting
friendship has been established. The South-Africans are most popular
with.the Swiss, we have much in common, not only the similarity between
our dialect and africaansc. All the Jerries and Franks, the Hughs and I
Ians, from Capetown or Durban send you their love. They all long for
you and are looking forward to the day they are home again.
pàeKpJu'fbi fv| y- K*Wf~ .- . ~.
To-night I am going to tell you something about the life of the
evades from South-Africa; ftae just about a year ago have come into
our country after their escape from italian prison-camps.They
actually represent the strongest dominion-contingent, having äägjg
mostly been taken prisoner at Tobruk. It has been quite a thrill
for the Swiss to meet again Britishers, after more than nhree years
of virtual isolation from all, contact with them. Me*iy«a -~ug have
onglioh. —e - iishing- xj aàshif-e- ently,- cginn1i.iT
d jag.JiQrida..Jto..JJ
Your boys in Switzerland are living in several camps,¿&afth
o».-i- »4jag-Jh.p »ppri ?f)Q ajad-Juap =r--i rwT4- Bfînw mind you, by camps you
must not understand tents with barbed wire around. No, they live in
villages all over the country, three camps have even been established
in quite well-known holiday-resorts, up in the mountains or on a larg
lake. Accomodation is mostly provided in large hotels, which in the
good old times were crowded with tourists from all continents. A3 Kfc 5
as a rule confined to the area of the camp the evades move freely
about within that area, on short strolls to the next pub or on longer
walks. Evening mostly finds them in one of the local pubs, having a
drink or two over a chat äor a game of bridge. That is of course
if 3öö S it is not pictures-night which always are very popular, or
a special JglliSscfoui like Union-day which I was fortunate enough
to celebrate with the South-Africans of one particualr camp, and:
The camps are very well organised now:Whilst relations with
swiss authorities and the necessary military control are dealt with
by a swiss officer, a senior british officer is command of every camp,
with a few other officers assisting him. After iff had become evident
that the evades would have to stay quite a while in Switzerland,
everyone has been given opportunity to choose some professional
training which might prove usegull at home. Each camp specialised
on some particular kind of training and you will find camps where
brick-laying is instructed, others with courses in electricity, in
painting or plombing, in farming or clerk's work. Not only officers
are acting as instructors, but also every chap who has some special
knowledge in the particular trade. It is here where the South-Africans
have got quite a reputation, for they have proved the most highly
educated ones of the crowd. Everybody añ*A«MM»e» can at the same time
Sports bring of course about a very welcome change into the
daily life. In winter they skied in a big way. Now there are
swimming-competitions, tennis-tournaments, matches in football,
basket-ball, boxing and cricket, within the camps, bewteen various
camps and between evades-teams and swiss teams. Mountsneering is
quite popular with many, whilst others do not hold with walking
up hill and confine their movements to the dance floor, dancing
to the music provided by their own bands and learning all about
Switzerland by taking out a pretty girl. It is great fun to attend
such a party, in a hall crowded with chaps in battle-dress enjoying
themselves as far as the not awi too plentyfull pay allows them to.
Anï excellent and highly popular weekly paper, especially
published for british evades, with the main items of military and
political events from *ü the worl4Í brings reports from all camps
thus providing a vivid picture of their various activities. You
will find also good short stories and jokes for entertainment in
that paper, as well as fanny cartoons about the évadés-life.
Among my most impressive experiences in one particular cam]
where besides évadés american internées stay as well counts the
Sunday-evening church-service. It is conducted by a british padre
in turn with a swiss priest who for many years has lived abroad.
The athmosphere in this tiny little village-chtfcrch, crowded with
soldiers from every english-speaking country reflects very accurately
the spiritTja"1 union which binds together these men from all over the
The swiss army has set up a special organisation for delivering
talks on various tppics of interest to the évadés. The
british camp commander is invited to ask for lectures which to his
belief might interest bt0 men, be it on some technical problem, on
points of history or on .he military and political developments
of out time. I for one have had great pleasure in addressing the
évadés of numerous camps, mostly on current events which I tried to
explain from the point of view off an unbiassed swiss citizen.The
topic of course always arises great interest, the course of these
events being so décisif for the future off eachone of us.
, y A. y It is thus that I have made many friends amongst the
lü'ifrluiíi adés, both in the south-african Air Force whose members
stay together with the other pilots evadoa in a separate camp, and
in the army, among officers and other ranks. In fact I am happy to
say that I have «found one southafrican Corporal in particular with
whom % reaHyTriendship' -ÜMíMtf* has been established. The South-
Africans are most popular with the swLss, we have much in common, not
only the similiaritjr between aour dialect and africaansc. All the
Jerries and Franks, the Hughs and Ians, from Capetown or Durban send
you their love. They all long for you dwpafa ly end are looking
f.rward to the day they are hom again.
v.1.09