Period IV

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

First Intervention of the Red Cross

In Les Verrières (canton of Neuchâtel) on February 1, 1871, at around 3:35 a.m., the French General Clinchant signed the three copies of the conditions imposed upon by the defeated French army for crossing the Swiss border.

The entry of 90 000 exhausted or wounded soldiers, 2 467 officers and their 11 800 horses, 285 guns and 1 158 vehicles began immediately 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), as can abe seen in the Bourbaki-Panorama in Lucerne.

The monument in front of the Central Station of Basel is also a reminder of the city’s support for Strasbourg. This city was besieged in the same war.

(Source and more information: