Albert Hofmann and LSD
9 January 2023
On Friday, 16 April 1943, pharmaceutical researcher Albert Hofmann (1906-2008) had an extraordinary experience at the Sandoz company in Basel. He had been researching a circulatory stimulant in vain for years.
On this day, however, he had taken a small amount of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide. He hallucinated, balanced on the verge of madness and ended up feeling supreme bliss.
On 19 April, he repeated the experiment with the same effects: hallucinations, dizziness, and anxiety, followed by calmness and a feeling of happiness. He had invented LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide).
The drug entered the market in 1949 as a medicine in psychotherapy to relieve mental suffering. In the 1960s, however, the drug took on another target group: the hippie scene, first in America with its breakthrough at the 1969 Woodstock festival, then in Europe.
LSD became the symbol of escapism from the parallel world of the anti-establishment movement. The drug had become an addictive stimulant with all the misery that it implies. In America and then Europe, LSD was soon banned.
Hofmann was proud of his invention and its use in psychotherapy. However, he was shocked and unprepared for the abuse from the 1960s onwards.
He must have often thought about it in his hallucinatory home near Burg in the Leimental (Solothurn Canton) on his walks in the French-Swiss Jura and the Cantons of Solothurn and Basel-Landschaft.
The Villa of Albert Hofmann near Burg
Memorial at the Rittimatte for Albert Hofmann (1906-2008) and his wife Anita Hofmann-Guanella (1913-2007)
Albert Hofmann bank on the Swiss-French border
Burg, 11th century
The Remeltower(Rämelturm), 832 m.
Bättwil (canton Solothurn)
Ettingen (canton Basel-Landschaft)
The Flühmühle in Flüh
Flüh (canton Solothurn), a small village with many restaurants for the annual 250 000 pilgrims of Mariastein.
Rodersdorf (canton Solothurn)