Ernst Cincera

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Ernst Cincera (1992)

Ernst Cincera (born May 14, 1928 in Zurich ; † October 30, 2004 there ; entitled to live there ) was a Swiss politician ( FDP ).


After attending the arts and crafts schools in Zurich and Amsterdam , from which he graduated as a silversmith and drawing teacher, Cincera worked as a freelance graphic artist and advertiser in Zurich from 1957. For the FDP, he sat in the Zurich Cantonal Council from 1967 to 1971 and in the Swiss National Council from 1983 to 1995 . In addition to his parliamentary activities, he presided over the trade association of the City of Zurich from 1986 to 1993 and that of the Canton of Zurich from 1993 to 1996. He had the military rank of lieutenant colonel .

Cincera became known - with the code name "Caesar" - in the 1970s as a " subversive hunter ". With the help of informants, between 1972 and 1974 he created records of around 3,500 people from the political left and, as President of the information group he founded , made them available to interested parties from business, administration and politics so that they can sort out left-wing or “dangerous” job applicants could. Many people's careers have been affected. Cincera had originally been involved in the Communist Party of Labor herself , and the political change of sides only came after a trip to Czechoslovakia and sobering experiences with the local secret service .

The employees who conveyed information to Ernst Cincera were high school students and students who infiltrated left-wing youth organizations and parties in their free time. The informers were given the task of observing the activities of the groups and their membership. Again and again these informers came into conflict with the law. They were, however, sponsored by the Bern police and school principals. Three of the young people were even sent to the Communist World Youth Festival in the GDR together with a member of the Swiss military intelligence service SAD in order to obtain information about Swiss participants. Many of the details that came into the Cincera files were eventually passed on to state authorities and the army .

The secret archive was uncovered in November 1976 by a group of left-wing activists who obtained the keys to the archive and reported in detail about their discoveries in a “Democratic Manifesto”. They were convicted of trespassing, among other things, but their action resulted in more and more people distancing themselves from Cincera's methods.

One of the activists was Jürg Frischknecht . In 1979 he became co-editor of the book The Weird Patriots , in which Cincera plays a central role. As early as 1973, the Bernese pastor and writer Kurt Marti Cincera had called For Example: Bern 1972 a “boil” in his political diary , but had to remove this name in the later editions of his work.

According to documents from the South African military intelligence service, contact with groups such as the Southern Africa Working Group , the Swiss East Institute led by Peter Sager or Ernst Cincera was given high priority by the apartheid government. This was in connection with the Comops project of the government in the Cape, which had the aim of improving the image and spying on opponents of apartheid.

Cincera himself published the book Our Resistance Against Subversion in Switzerland in 1977 and received the Athenaeum Prize in 1983, "in recognition of his services in the fearless fight for the preservation of democratic freedom in responsibility and his courageous information activities to promote the will to defend himself".

Cincera is also very committed to culture. Among other things, he was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Ballenberg Open Air Museum . Cincera died on October 30, 2004 at the age of 77 after a brief, serious illness. He was married and had three children and three grandchildren.


  • Our resistance to subversion in Switzerland . Athenaeum, Lugano 1976/1977 , ISBN 3-85532-779-3 .
  • as editor: Margarete Buber-Neumann - dedicated to a witness of the century on her eightieth birthday . Excerpts from speeches. Athenaeum, Lugano 1981, ISBN 3-85532-707-6 .
  • Moscow's peace strategy or the other face of the peace dove. A small handbook for dealing with the peace movement. Schweizerzeit , Flaach 1983 OCLC 601020655 (summary of the autumn conference organized by the "Schweizerzeit" publishing house on September 3, 1983 in Berg am Irchel, presentation by Ernst Cincera, 24 pages).
  • German after Marx. Or the language of politics: a small manual on the abused language . Athenaeum, Lugano 1983, ISBN 3-85532-710-6 .
  • with Ursula Speich-Hochstrasser; Fondation PME Suisse (ed.): A cheerful but important ABC for people who want to do something . Swiss SME Foundation, Bern 1997, ISBN 3-9520486-0-7 .
  • 75 years of the FDP Höngg 1928-2003 . Zurich 2003.

See also


  • Working Group Democratic Manifesto (Ed.): Dossier Cincera (PDF; 11.3 MB) , 4th edition, January 1977
  • Ron Ganzfried: Cincera alias Caesar . We were Cincera's Bernese informers. Ed .: Information group of the working groups Democratic Manifesto. Pinkus, Zurich 1977, OCLC 603218463 .
  • Jürg Frischknecht : The scary patriots . Political reaction in Switzerland, an up-to-date manual. Limmat, Zurich 1979, ISBN 3-85791-077-1 (1987: 6th, updated, “no longer censored edition”, with additions 1979 to 1984).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Light into the dark Swiss South Africa policy ., October 27, 2005. Accessed August 27, 2012.
  2. ^ Research group Switzerland - Africa: Collaboration with the apartheid regime , p. 160, contradiction 49/05. Retrieved August 27, 2012.