Winston Churchills Landmark Speech at the University of Zurich 1946

Let Europe Arise

"Therefore I say to you: Let Europe Arise!" It was on 19 September 1946 in the Aula of the University of Zurich that Winston Churchill issued his famous call to action – a galvanizing message that reverberates up to the present day. Indeed, the words of conciliation and unity spoken by the British prime minister had an uplifting effect on the weary population of Europe, which had grown despondent in the a ermath of two world wars. And today, when liberty and humanitarian principles are threatened worldwide, and the European idea is facing serious challenges, Churchill's visionary speech has taken on new relevance and urgency.

We must never forget that stability, economic vitality, and prosperity in Europe – and in Switzerland – depend on strong relations among Europe's countries. And the academic community is equally reliant on cross-border dialogue and exchange, which is why the University of Zurich and other Swiss higher education institutions are committed to working as closely as possible with their peers and counterparts throughout Europe.

The University of Zurich is exceptionally proud that the words of hope spoken that day by Winston Churchill echoed around the world. Over the course of the coming days, key players and thought leaders from the world of politics and academia will meet at UZH. A propitious constellation for initiating change – let us seize the opportunity!

Michael O. Hengartner
President of the University of Zurich

Monday, 19 September 2016

The Significance of Churchill's Zurich Speech 1946–2016

University of Zurich, Rämistrasse 71, 8006 Zurich, Aula (KOL-G-201) / 4:00–8:00pm, video feed in other lecture halls

4:00pm Welcome Address
Prof. Michael O. Hengartner, President of the University of Zurich
4:05pm Churchill’s Zurich Speech. The Context
Allen Packwood, Dr. Werner Vogt, Lord Watson of Richmond


The Significance of the Zurich Speech in 1946
Chair: Prof. David Reynolds, Felix Klos, Dr. Andrew Roberts

5:05pm The Relevance of the Zurich Speech in 2016
Chair: Bridget Kendall, Lord Powell of Bayswater, Dr. Andrew Roberts, Laura Sandys, Lord Watson of Richmond
5:50pm Concluding Remarks Randolph Churchill
6:00pm Break
6:30pm Introduction
Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, President of the Swiss Confederation
Main Speech
Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission
7:30pm Q&A

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

«The Churchill Europe Symposium» with Valéry Giscard d'Estaing

University of Zurich, Rämistrasse 71, 8006 Zurich, Aula (KOL-G-201) / 6:30–7:45pm

Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, former President of France, holds a speech with the title «Europa – La dernière chance de l'Europe.» The lecture is held in French and open to the public.

19 September–7 October 2016


Lichthof, Main Building UZH / from 19 Sept. 8:00pm / to 7 Oct. / see opening hours of main building

In celebration of the 70th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s visit to the University of Zurich, a select exhibition of photographs, sound recordings, and film material from the historic occasion is taking place in the main building of UZH.

Recordings of the landmark speech, contemporary articles in the NZZ from 1946, and photographs of the event transport visitors back to the memorable day.

The event is hosted by the Europe Institute at the University of Zurich, with generous support from the University of Zurich, the Churchill Archives, and the NZZ.