Swiss American Historical Society Review

Swiss American Historical Society Review

Article Title

The Collection


Donald G. Tritt


Switzerland, life in Switzerland, Swiss immigrants, Swiss history


The library from which this bibliography is drawn grew out of a longheld passion to know and to experience Switzerland, the land of my ancestors. As a young boy and with a lasting coziness, I recall falling asleep hearing my Swiss elders tell stories far into the night, stories of everyday life in Switzerland and stories of Switzerland's place in history. These stories fascinated me. I wanted to know what life was like in this far-away place. Readings about Switzerland began with casual book purchases. My fascination was greatly intensified when I would come across books descriptive of everyday life in Switzerland during my grandfather's youthful years and at the time of his emigration to the U.S. in the mid 1860s. In a personal sense these books represented a temporal connection to my Swiss immigrant grandfather Joseph Gustav Tritt (1842-1904) who I never met as he died 27 years before my birth. Later I would come to know of his early life in Columbus where he was a founder in 1889 and Secretary of the Helvetia Unterstützungs Verein (a beneficial society), an organization still in existence today.