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Contemporary witness


A large number of the leading figures in the history of the Eastern Switzerland textile industry of the 20th century are still alive – most of them now at an advanced age. As a part of the project "Textile Contemporary Witnesses" the association "Textilland Ostschweiz" is interviewing most of these people to record their experiences, stories and opinions in the form of a video portrait, to secure them for posterity.


The interviews provide a broad archive of living history. The recordings can be used for exhibitions, documentation and for school purposes. At the same time, work is also being done on the production of a film on an interactive DVD with menu-driven software, which presents in an attractive manner the history of the textile trade in the 20th century up to the present day. The interviews are being held by the experienced St. Gallen journalist Josef Osterwalder, who has an intimate knowledge of the industrial and cultural history of St. Gallen, and the well-known St. Gallen film-maker Andreas Baumberger. The "Oral history" project is sponsored by "Textilland Ostschweiz" and is receiving financial aid from the lottery fund of the Canton of St. Gallen and from the City of St. Gallen. The procurement of funding for the production of the planned film is currently running parallel to the recording of the interviews.

Have a look at some short, unedited excerpts from the first interviews here (in originary Swiss German).