Spiegelgasse – Hot-bed of Revolutionary Art, Literature and Politics

Europe's artistic and political avant-garde met at the Spiegelgasse at the beginning of the 20th century.

Spiegelgasse was the home of revolutionaries and avant-gardists. The German author and revolutionary Georg Büchner wrote "Leonce und Lena" here in 1836, as well as his most well-known, fragmentarily handed-down "Woyzeck" works.

Many European artists found refuge from the turmoil of World War I in Zurich 80 years later. Hugo Ball, Emmy Hennings, Hans Arp, Marcel Janco, Richard Huelsenbeck and Tristan Tzara founded the Cabaret Voltaire in Spiegelgasse 1 – and the Dada movement with it. The colorful events of the Dadaists there probably could be heard all the way to building number 14. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin also lived here at that time and was preparing for the Russian revolution. Whether he and the Dadaists knew each other has remained an object of speculation until today.
 

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