Links between Switzerland and the Balkans are numerous, starting with those that are easily visible. Every Christmas and Easter, thousands of cars with Swiss plates carry families to their home countries for the holidays. Swiss cuckoo clocks hang on the walls of many houses in the Balkans.
Switzerland is home to more than 100.000 thousand people born in Serbia and other ex-YU countries. On Facebook, Swiss users have more friends with users from Serbia (and Germany) than from any other countries.Yet, in spite of the numerous social, economic and cultural ties, there is no history of Switzerland translated into the Serbian and related languages.
This gap inspired the project : A History of Switzerland in Serbian. In 2013, we conducted wide consultations in order to identify a book which is both solid academically, and easy to read. We identified the book ‘Geschichte der Schweiz’ by Prof. Thomas Maissen as fulfilling our needs.
The author gave us permission to publish the book in Serbian. The book will be published by Albatross Plus – a small, boutique publisher specialising in books about history, sociology and philosophy.
From the very beginning, our idea received very enthusiastic support from the Swiss ambassador in Belgrade, Jean Daniel Ruch. He helped in identifying the right book, and provided a donation of Chf 6000 for covering half of the the publishing costs.
The other half should be generated by donations from all of us who are interested in building deeper ties, and a better understanding, between our two countries. I invite you to read more about the book publishing project (English, Serbian, German, French).
Volunteers have helped to translate this the attached leaflet about the book and project . Many thanks to Anja Grujovic (translation into French) and Daliborka Jankovic (translation into German).
Please disseminate this information, and encourage your friends and colleagues to support this initiative.
We are looking forward to seeing you at the book launch, which will be held in Serbia and Switzerland (autumn 2015).
Informal coordination group for the Book project