Switzerland, Swiss, colonial Africa
Themes connected with Switzerland are often judged to be of only marginal significance. The Swiss nation as such certainly was no player in the European penetration and partition of the African continent. The involvement of Swiss people, furthermore, was numerically small and cannot compare with that of the Dutch or the Danes. Yet Hans Werner Debrunner's study of Swiss in colonial Africa is nevertheless of great value, especially since it is part of a set of other works he has devoted to African issues. It adds, first, much to our knowledge of Swiss migrations, understood not primarily as settlements overseas, but as temporary or permanent moves abroad by individuals in the context of varied occupational pursuits. Debrunner's work reveals, second, an important facet of Swiss enmeshment in Caucasian expansion as it involved Africa, an expansion that transformed the globe by efforts at once creative and destructive, heroic and depraved, and generally was most disastrous for the victims involved.
"Hans Werner Debrunner, Schweizer im kolonialen Afrika,"
Swiss American Historical Society Review: Vol. 28
, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/sahs_review/vol28/iss2/4