Walter Troesch

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Walter Trösch (born November 21, 1875 in Herzogenbuchsee ; † June 19, 1959 in Olten ) was a Swiss printer , publisher and politician ( Social Democratic Party ). From 1908 to 1921 Trösch was a member of the Cantonal Council of the Canton of Solothurn , where he was President from 1920/21.


After an apprenticeship as a typesetter at the Fischer printing company in Münsingen BE , Walter Trösch moved to Paris at the end of 1897 . After initial difficulties in looking for a job, according to Trösch in his autobiographical work “In the struggle for a goal in life”, the publication activity triggered by Émile Zola's sensational J'accuse helped him find a job at the large Imprimerie du Siècle printing company . In 1898 he traveled on to London , where he was unable to find a job as a typesetter. He therefore worked for a year as a porter in a hotel in Cowes on the Isle of Wight . There he received a letter from his teacher in Münsingen, who had bought a Linotype typesetting machine and offered to cover the costs of a Linotype course for Trösch in Berlin . Trösch accepted this offer and subsequently worked on the new Linotype in Münsingen. It was there that he recorded his first trade union success by getting a wage increase demanded by the Typographia union .

After two years, Walter Trösch moved abroad again: Now he also wanted to get to know the United States . After improving his English skills with a course in London, he traveled to the United States on board the transatlantic liner St. Louis . In Newark , he found a job as a Linotype typesetter for the New Jersey Free Newspaper . At the time, it was the best-known and most influential German-language newspaper in New Jersey . Trösch spent the next two years there.

After his return to Switzerland in 1904, Walter Trösch turned to the project of a social democratic newspaper in Olten . For this purpose, he set up a printing company at his own risk, and his experience with Linotype gave him "an important head start". With the help of the typesetting machine, which until then had not been used in Olten or in the nearby cantonal capitals of Solothurn and Aarau , he was able to "publish a large-format newspaper with little staff". Friends of his family supported him in purchasing the expensive Linotype. From April 12, 1905, the Neue Freie Zeitung was initially published twice a week. The successful newspaper was soon able to appear three times a week and finally daily. The union's demand for a collectively agreed minimum wage was immediately recognized by Trösch, so that the other printing works in Olten were forced to join. In 1911 Jacques Schmid was hired as an editor. Also in 1911, a network of the Neue Freie Zeitung with the newspapers Der Freie Aargauer and Der Demokratie was brought into being, whereby the supraregional part of the three newspapers was identical and came from the Neue Freie Zeitung . In 1920 Trösch's private printing company was converted into the cooperative printing company. The Neue Freie Zeitung received the new name Das Volk . It was published under this title until 1970.

Walter Trösch also worked as a book publisher in Olten . He published literary works, pacifist and socialist texts. Trösch published several works by Edward Stilgebauer , including The Ship of Death and Letters from a One-Armed Man , as well as writings by Hermann Greulich and Leonhard Ragaz . Trösch was opposed to violent revolutions, especially the events in Soviet Russia and then in the Soviet Union . In a brochure printed by Trösch, Auguste Forel spoke out against the German occupation of Kurland .

houses of Parliament

Walter Trösch represented social issues in the Solothurn Cantonal Council. In 1915, he and Josef Müller submitted a motion in which a provision in the constitution of the canton of Solothurn of 1887 was initially demanded that "those in public alms " were excluded from voting and suffrage. The cantonal council declared the motion to be significant in a modified version (revision instead of deletion of the passage), but it would take until the partial constitutional revision of 1931 before an amendment was adopted by referendum according to which only people lost the right to vote "Due to considerable self-negligence (profligacy, mismanagement, waste, family neglect, non-fulfillment of the duty of support, etc.) are continuously supported from public funds". In 1917 Walter Trösch was the first to sign a motion “on the immediate implementation of old age and disability insurance in the canton of Solothurn”. The nationwide old-age and survivors' insurance did not yet exist at the time. In 1919 Trösch published a brochure in which he advocated the introduction of old-age and disability insurance based on the model of the Canton of Glarus for Solothurn. Walter Trösch was also the first to sign a motion from 1919 calling on the government council to “take the necessary steps to immediately introduce eight-hour working hours for all workers in the cantonal companies without loss of earnings”.


  • In the struggle for a goal in life. From my apprenticeship and traveling years and what came afterwards. Olten [1955]. Online version on Erich Trösch's website.
  • Old age and disability insurance in Switzerland and in the Canton of Solothurn according to the Glarus system. Trösch, Olten [1919].
  • The world war and Switzerland. Illustrated chronicle, reflections, documents and mood pictures. Collected by Ernst and Walter Trösch and employees. Trösch, Olten 1914–1915.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Walter Trösch: In the struggle for a goal in life, pp. 17-18
  2. ^ Federal Writer's Project of the Works Progress Administration for the State of New Jersey (ed.): New Jersey. A guide to its present and past . Viking Press, New York 1939, pp. 116 ( online at ).
  3. a b Walter Trösch: In the struggle for a goal in life, p. 31
  4. ^ Ruedi Graf: Solothurn (Canton), 4.1.4: Press. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  5. ^ Negotiations of the Cantonal Council of Solothurn . Solothurn 1915, p. 92 .
  6. ^ Negotiations of the Cantonal Council of Solothurn . Solothurn 1915, p. 94 .
  7. ^ Negotiations of the Cantonal Council of Solothurn . Solothurn 1915, p. 95 .
  8. ^ Constitution of the canton of Solothurn of October 23, 1887, changed by a referendum of September 6, 1931 . ( online at ).
  9. ^ Negotiations of the Cantonal Council of Solothurn . Solothurn 1917, p.  296 .
  10. ^ Walter Trösch: The old age and disability insurance in Switzerland and according to the Glarus system in the canton of Solothurn. Trösch, Olten [1919].
  11. ^ Negotiations of the Cantonal Council of Solothurn . Solothurn 1919, p. 9 .