Bourbaki-Panorama Luzern, Les Verrières, 1.2.1871. Photo/Foto: TES.

First Intervention of the Red Cross

The French General Justin Clinchant signed three copies of the conditions imposed upon on the defeated French army for crossing the Swiss border in Les Verrières (canton of Neuchâtel) on 1 February 1871.

The entry of more than 80 000 exhausted or wounded soldiers, 2 467 officers and their 11 800 horses, 285 guns and 1 158 vehicles began immediately afterwards in Les Verrières, Sainte-Croix, Vallorbe, Ballaigues and the Vallée de Joux.

Their stay in Switzerland came to an end on February 26, 1871, when the peace treaty between Prussia and France was signed. It was the first intervention of the Red Cross (founded in Geneva in 1863).

The monument in front of the Central Station SBB of Basel is also a reminder of the city’s support for Strasbourg when the city was besieged in August and September 1870 in the same war.

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