CV HANS FÄSSLER
Postal address: Hans Fässler, Weiherweidstrasse 5, 9000 St.Gallen, Switzerland
Phone number: 0041(0)71 288 39 52 (private)
e-mail: hans.faessler [at] louverture.ch (new!)
Hans Fässler was born in 1954 in St.Gallen, Switzerland, where he still lives.
He is married and has two sons.
EDUCATION AND QUALIFICATIONS
He attended primary and secondary schools and four years of state grammar school in St.Gallen and graduated with "Matura B". He studied English Language and Literature as well as History (General, British and American) at the University of Zurich from 1974 to 1982 and was a German language assistant in Penarth, Wales, from 1977 to 1978.
He received his M.A. (lic.phil. I) in English and History in 1983 (with an M.A. paper on "Reform and Revolution in Percy B. Shelley's Poetry") and his Teacher's Diploma for State Grammar Schools in 1986 from Zurich University.
He has teaching experience at various levels (kindergarten, primary school, secondary school, grammar school, language courses for adults, vocational school). He has been a teacher of English and History at Appenzell Ausserrhoden's state grammar school in Trogen since 1992.
He joined the SPS (Social Democratic Party of Switzerland) in 1978, was a member of St.Gallen's cantonal parliament (state legislature) from 1984 to 1994 and was general secretary of the cantonal party organisation as well as a member of its executive council from 1986 to 1993. He has been a member of the Union of Public Workers since 1979 and is currently president of the Grammar School Teacher's Union of Appenzell Ausserrhoden.
He was an activist with the Swiss AAM (Anti-Apartheid Movement) and a co-founder of the Association for the Rehabilitation of Paul Grüninger, the former chief of St.Gallen's police-force, who in the years 1938/1939 saved several hundred Jewish and other refugees' lives from Nazi persecution and extermination.
The Swiss political police had Hans Fässler observed and kept a file on his political activities in the years 1980–1989. He was charged with illegally picketing one of the major Swiss banks on account of cooperating with the apartheid system, but was later acquitted.
He was a guitarist and a singer-songwriter in a number of folk-bands and performed his first satirical one-man show in 1980: "CCCP - Chalte Chrieg Cabarettistisches Programm", centering on the Cold War period in Switzerland.
In 1986 he presented his second satirical one-man show "Geschwindigkeit - Faschismus - Autobahn" on acceleration as described by the French philosopher Paul Virilio, on fascism and the history of the motorway. It caused a scandal on the occasion of its first night in St.Gallen's municipal theatre. In 1991 he satirized the Swiss army (in which he served as an infantryman) with "Nicht ganz hundert - Anmerkungen zur Armee 95".
In 2003 he produced "Louverture stirbt 1803", a historical one-man show on the life and death of the Haitian liberator Toussaint Louverture (1743-1803) and on Swiss participation in transatlantic slavery. In November of the same year he was invited to Port-au-Prince by the Haitian foreign ministry to participate in a conference on slavery and restitution.
He then started work on a book on Switzerland's role in slavery and the slave trade and launched a media and parliamentary campaign in Switzerland to put that topic on the political agenda. In January 2005 he delivered a speech on Swiss involvement in slavery at an international colloquium on "Transatlantic Echoes" at the University Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar (Senegal). His book "Reise in Schwarz-Weiss. Schweizer Ortstermine in Sachen Sklaverei" (Travels in black and white. Swiss dates with slavery) was published in October 2005 by Rotpuntkverlag of Zurich. It has been translated into French by Claudine Layre für Editions Duboiris of Paris and was published in October 2007.
Hans Fässler has toured Switzerland with his book and delivered a number of lectures on his subject. Im May 2007 he launched the campaign "Demounting Louis Agassiz".