During the First World War, Lenin lived with his wife Nadeshda Krupskaja at Spiegelgasse 14 in Zurich for about a year – a commemorative plaque on the house serves as a reminder. He finished his work "Imperialism as the Highest Stage of Capitalism" in Zurich. He spent a lot of his time in Zurich’s libraries. However, in his free time, he and his wife are said to have loved driving up to the top of the Zürichberg hill, lying in the grass and eating Swiss chocolate. Whether Lenin visited the Cabaret Voltaire, the birthplace of Dadaism, is still unknown but has fuelled speculation as to whether Lenin was a secret Dadaist.

When the February revolution broke out in Russia in 1917, Lenin left his exile in Switzerland and returned to his homeland.

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