In the Land of Blood and Tears

With Yann Stricker and Roger M. Buergel
20 Jun 2021 3:00 pm
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With his wife Elisabeth Bender, the Swiss missionary Jakob Künzler would become a witness to the Armenian genocide in 1915. The pair fled to Lebanon a few years later, with thousands of Armenian orphans in tow. The Künzlers’ eventful life story serves as the starting point for a conversation about the at times bizarre role that Swiss missionaries play in world-historical arenas. We ask what this “bizarre role” says about the self-image of neutral Switzerland and, more generally, about the relationship between humanitarian work and politics.

A conversation between historian Yann Stricker and Roger M. Buergel (Director JJM).


Title Image: Elisabeth Bender and Jakob Künzler (1920s), from:  A Carpet (a documentation), Courtesy Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige.