$15 (*Film Block)
During the second World War, more than 100,000 foreign soldiers were interned in Switzerland. French, Polish, English, Russian, Italian, and German soldiers who fled combat found a safe haven in neutral Switzerland. According to the international conventions signed before the war, the Swiss government had to accept these soldiers (unlike civilians, who could be sent back to occupied territories) and keep them interned until the end of the war.
These soldiers were held in barracks and used as helping hands for agriculture and other industries. Officers were not compelled to endure forced labor and stayed in unoccupied mountain hotels. These rather mild detention conditions could become nightmarish for those who tried to escape. The escapees were sent to the Wauwilermoos camp near Lucerne.
This military prison was under the command of André Béguin, a known crook who imposed extremely harsh detention conditions. In April 2014, eight survivors of the Wauwilermoos camp received the Prisoner of War Medal, thus being recognized for the suffering they endured during their imprisonment. This was the first time that this medal was granted to soldiers that had been held prisoner in a friendly country. This is their story.
Daniel Wyss – Director
Born in Quito, Ecuador in 1978, of Swiss and Ecuadorian nationality. Studies history and cinema aesthetics at the University of Lausanne. He then works as an editor and cameraman for the Audiovisual Department of the Swiss Institute of Technology (EPFL).
As a side project, he directs many short films and works for a TV show called “Demo” on TVRL, before doing documentaries. Since 2002, he has been teaching at the multimedia workshop of Mobilet’, motivation class for young unemployed people. In 2004, Daniel Wyss starts to collaborate with Climage. “Forced Landing” is his fourth documentary film. Daniel Wyss speaks fluently French, English, German, Spanish and Italian.