Berne: People

People from Berne

 

Friedrich Dürrenmatt

Friedrich Dürrenmatt

Friedrich Dürrenmatt was born in Konolfingen on 5.1.1921, the son of a Protestant pastor. He graduated from high school in Berne and studied literature, philosophy and natural sciences in Zurich and Berne. Dürrenmatt became world famous for his plays, though he was a painter as well as a writer. His most famous play was a comedy, "Der Besuch der Alten Dame" (The Visit), published in 1956. More plays ensued: "Die Physiker" (The Physicists) in 1962 and "Der Meteor" in 1966. These, too, garnered stage success for Dürrenmatt at home and abroad. During the 1950s he wrote the criminal novels "Der Richter und sein Henker" (the Judge and his Executioner, 1952), "Der Verdacht" (Suspicion, 1953). Dürrenmatt died of a heart attack on 14.12.1990.


 

Ruth Bietenhard

Ruth Bietenhard

Ruth Bietenhard, née Lehmann, was born in Berne on 11 January 1920. The philologist and journalist became most famous for her translation of the Bible into Bernese German and for publication of her Bernese German Dictionary. After studying romance philology in Berne, Geneva and Paris, she gained a diploma in Berne to teach Latin, French in Italian in grammar schools. In 1949 she took her doctorate at Berne University. The subject of her thesis was the semantics of expressive words in French-speaking Switzerland (Le sémantisme des mots expressifs en Suisse Romande). In 1993 she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Theology at Berne University.


 

Fabian Cancellara

Fabian Cancellara

Fabian Cancellara was born in Wohlen bei Bern on 18 March 1981. He discovered cycling at the early age of 13. He achieved his first successes on two wheels in 1998 and 1999, winning the junior world championship time trials twice running, in Valkenburg and Trevisio. After he came second in the U23 time trials in the Espoir World Championship in Plouay, he decided to take the sport up professionally. He joined the Italian racing cycle team MAPEI. His breakthrough came in 2003, after switching to the Team Fassa Bortolo: he won the Tour de Romandie prologue and the Tour de Suisse.


 

Madame de Meuron

Madame de Meuron

Louise Elisabeth de Meuron, née von Tscharner, is better known in Berne as Madame de Meuron. She was the embodiment of the last remnant of patrician "Old Berne." Born on 22 August 1882, she was the daughter of Ludwig von Tscharner and Anna von Tscharner, née von Wattenwyl. Afther her family opposed her relationship with her Zurich-born fiancé, she married her cousin Alphonse Frédéric de Meuron in 1905. Two children issued from the marriage, which was dissolved in 1923. Apart from her striking, anachronistic style of dress, her eccentric behaviour contributed to her role as one of the city's original characters. To her dying day, in 1980, she refused to buy a tram ticket on the grounds "I bi vorem Tram da gsi" (I was here before the tram).


 

 

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