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Banking and slavery: Switzerland examines its colonial conscience

November 19, 2020 at 11:56AM

BLM protests and fresh historical evidence are forcing Swiss leaders to question legacy of the nation’s founding father Alfred Escher

Alfred Escher wielded so much power and influence during his lifetime that he was nicknamed King Alfred I. An immense bronze statue of modern Switzerland’s founding father stands, fittingly, in front of Zurich’s main train station. Escher was a politician, but he was also an entrepreneur who founded the country’s railway network along with the its leading university and the banking giant Credit Suisse.

The statue in Zurich has memorialised Escher for more than 100 years, but it may not be there for much longer. A recently published study on Zurich’s involvement in slavery details problematic connections to Escher. The Escher dynasty owned a coffee plantation in Cuba with more than 80 slaves and Escher himself was involved in its sale.

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Continue reading… via Banking | The Guardian

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