In 1957 fewer than 3,000 people with Spanish passports lived in Switzerland; by 1965 this figure had exploded to 55,000, most of whom were from Galicia in northwestern Spain. s
Galicians in Zurich, 1962.
"The factory barracks”. Photo sent back home to Galicia.
"This is my room. I put up the picture of the Virgin Mary you sent me,” a Galician staying in the factory barracks wrote back to his wife. (1960).
Special open day for the public at the Brown Boveri turbine factory in Baden, now ABB. (1966)
Swiss work permit with irregular hours. In Galicia in the 1960s women generally did the housework or worked in the fields.
Outside the Meli fruit juice factory.
Wedding celebrations of a Galician immigrant and Swiss woman (1969).
Buying a car and learning to drive were extremely important symbolic acts for the new immigrants (1969).
A woman writing home to her daughter. The arrival of an immigrant’s wife meant the couple could leave the barracks and move into an apartment or house together.
Many photos sent home to Galicia showed the winter conditions in Switzerland.
Sunbathing in Baden (1965).
A new home for the pet.
Immigrants from Galicia and Madrid take part in the Badenfahrt festival in Baden (1966).
Immigrants from Madrid followed in the Galicians’ footsteps.
The Sunday walk: in the background are new buildings for the growing number of Spanish immigrants to Switzerland.
The living room, complete with a new television, often doubled up as a bedroom.
The budgie prepares for a visit to Galicia.
Fifty years of immigration in search of a better life.
This content was published on August 31, 2010 - 11:55
A new book, Galicians in Switzerland, shows the lives of Spanish immigrants who have traded the northwestern region of Galicia for Switzerland over the past 50 years. In doing so, they escaped poverty as well as the Spanish dictatorship. (All photos from the collection of Xurxo Martinez Crespo)
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