Fourth national exhibition

Zurich 1939: Tightly knit to build up courage

The national exhibition that was to become the embodiment of this event took place in 1939. No less than 10.5 million tickets were collected at the ticket offices. This exhibition was the place for the moral defence of the country. It gave the Swiss the courage to resist the war.

It was on the road to the summits that visitors sought the information that their heads and hearts needed to transfer to the state of the now famous moral defence of the country. Hans Brandenberger's sculpture Wehrbereitschaft symbolised the moral defence of the country like no other work of art.    

Those who wanted to spend some time without their children could leave them in the Kinderparadies. A certain Trudy Gerster was making a national name for herself there under the name of Märlifee. Aluminium chairs with holes in them invited passers-by to rest for a while. These are the famous Landi chairs that are still on sale today. The most popular place was the small Landi village. Some 160,000 visitors flocked there for the Confederation's folk festival alone. Teddy Stauffer and the legendary cabaret Cornichon provided the entertainment in the Palais des attractions.

On 1 September, the day of general mobilisation, the number of visitors to Landi fell catastrophically. But 14 days later, it had already recovered from this setback. Now the Swiss people went to both sides of Lake Zurich to regain their confidence and courage. "The entire nation thanks Providence for having greatly strengthened national consciousness through the national exhibition at a fateful time," said Migros founder Gottlieb Duttweiler.