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Davos, Switzerland Sunday Mercury & Kunzle

BordesleyExile

master brummie
Does anyone have photos or memories of Pro Juventute, Davos the scheme which Sunday Mercury readers contributed to, or the Christian Kunzle Chateau also at Davos? Today Pro Juventute can be accessed on the website www.kinderklinic-davos.ch, though as Mozilla Firefox is not working properly I cannot copy the link.
The first two photos are of Pro Juventute Kinder Sanatorium at Davos Platz and the third is of the striking Christian Kunzle Chateau:
 

G G Jean

Brummy Wench.
Bordsley have tried the link but comes up as this page cannot be displayed. I am interested as my dads cousins worked for Kunzles and visited the home. Would love to look through the photo's. Will try your link now Len. Thanks. Jean.
 

lencops

gone but not forgotten
THE GIVE A CHILD HEALTH CHARITY
THE Sunday Mercury charity was set up in the 1953 to raise money to send asthmatic children for breaks in Switzerland.
It was recognised that time spent at high altitude significantly improved their breathing conditions.
The newspaper reported how philanthropic confectioner Christian Kunzle helped to fund boys suffering from asthma to be treated at the country’s Davos clinic.
Mr Kunzle was originally from Switzerland and made a fortune from producing Kunzle cakes at his factory in Birmingham and wanted to thank the city.
After the story appeared young asthma sufferer Brenda Jobson contacted the newspaper to ask why girls couldn’t go.
In response the Freddie Whitehead, editor at the time, started a fund known as Give A Girl Health - mainly so that Brenda could attend the Davos clinic.
She died before she could go.
But such was the response to the appeal, that arrangements were made to keep the fund going.
Freddie Whitehead discovered that the Red Cross had access to beds at the Davos clinic.
And with the help of Colonel Collins, Director of the Red Cross in Birmingham, and Dr Morrison Smith, chest consultant at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, he began sending up to half a dozen asthmatic girls for treatment at a time.
When Christian Kunzle died the boys were out on a limb, so the Give a Girl Health Fund included boys.
In more recent years the fund has sent three or four children for the long summer school holiday to an asthma clinic in the French Pyrenees and devoted some of its funds to the treatment of cystic fibrosis at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
In 1995 the fund was established as a registered charity and changed its name to The Give A Child Health Charitable Trust.
In 1997 the readers of the Sunday Mercury raised £110,000 to equip and run a lung function laboratory at the new Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Other projects have included funding an eczema nurse.
Dr Peter Weller, a consultant paediatrician in respiratory medicine at the hospital, said: “The appeal helps to fund many ongoing projects, and to pay salaries for individual specialists.
“It really does make a difference to the lives of children at the hospital.”
Readers have raised tens of thousands of pounds since the appeal started but we still need your support to be able to continue helping. Len.










 

lencops

gone but not forgotten
[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJvzp5199zM"]YouTube - Rachel Moroz returns from Davos[/ame] The Sunday Mercury arranged this visit, well done. Len.
 

pam1511

master brummie
My aunt went to the Davos clinic in the 1950's suffering from tuburculosis she met a young man there and became engaged, they were on the front page of the sunday mercury when they returned from Switzerland and married.I was their bridesmaid.
 

G G Jean

Brummy Wench.
Pam what a lovely story. My dads cousins worked for the company and they were treated to a holiday care of it a few times. I wish I had the photo's but they left their house in Victoria road and cleared most of them out. Shame. Jean.
 

BordesleyExile

master brummie
Thanks you very much for the links, Lencops. My search engine had not found them so I am very gratefull. It is rather touching that MPs had such regard for the importance of holidays for workers, though mention of the Kunzle scheme is a strange digression.
No, the link I gave does not work because as I explained Moxilla Firefox is not working so I cannot cut & paste. You could try searching for alpine kinderklinic which normally brings up the former Pro Juventute which is where the Birmingham children so kindly financed by contributors to the Sunday Mercury Fund & Red Cross were sent to stay.
Kinder Sanatorium Pro Juventute was in Davos Platz below Schatzalp & just up the hill from the English Church where children with exzema were still expected to don those itchy choir boy / girl costumes & sing each Sunday. Still within walking distance was, in winter, the largest open air skating rink in Europe. Around the edge raced the speedskaters & inside that ring one end of the rink was given over to a private club, although the general skaters had the majority of space. Next to the large rink I think was the curling rink. We walked often but in winter we used to toboggan. Occasionaly there would be coach trips for instance to Lichtenstein or St Moritz, where we picked bilberries.
Whilst Pro Juventute was a purpose built sanatorium, Christian Kunzle's Chateau in Davos Dorf had been a private home. The boys that stayed there skied, toboganned & even collected slow worms from the slope below, at least until the teachers found out about the little menagerie. The Kinzle boys were even allowed to walk out on the lake when it was frozen, something not available to the Pro Juventute children. The pictures I have seen of the Kunzle Chateau are taken quite close up. It may have been difficult to take distance shots as on the opposite side of the valley the trees were quite dense & would probably have blocked the view.
I understand that in the 1950s there were few TB patients in Davos. In the 2nd picture that I posted it is possible to see the TB Sanatorium behind Pro Juventute. Notice the open verandas. We were made to lie down on day beds called ligis for 2 hours a day winter & summer. We were not permitted to read during that rest time, though I used to smuggle a book out & have it open on the floor so that I could occupy my mind.
Postcard sites such as Ebay have many old photos of Davos, though I have not seen any of Pro Juventute.
The walks from the sanatorium were wonderfull. There was & is a path running horizontally along the lower slopes of Schatzalp but high enough to give good views of Davos. Sometimes we used to visit the lake, or even the waterfall. The flowers were a delight & primroses grew in abundance such as I have not witnessed since. The squirrels were so tame they used to come up to fetch peanuts from tourists.
Thomas Mann set part of his book The Majic Mountain in a Davos sanatorium for adults. He describes the journey to Davos by train, though after all these years it is Davos itself I remember, not the approach to what was in the 1950s a very pretty little town.
 

bilsat

master brummie
My Mother was born in Davos and her sister lived opposite the sanatorium.
We knew the Kunzle family very well and used to visit when we went over on holidays, my uncle owned the Davoserhof hotel just up from the railway.
Below are some pics from the Hotel brochure
 

pam1511

master brummie
G Jean Yes it is a lovely story about my aunt.My mom has some photos somewhere will try and dig them out.The Sunday Mercury followed their story as they both made a full recovery and had my cousin 12 months after their wedding all the pictures were in the paper.
 

BordesleyExile

master brummie
Thank you for the pictures Bilsat. The carved furniture in picture 3 was very similar to the dining chairs in Pro Juventute, so perhaps they were typically Swiss.
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
one of my friends went to switzerland under the give a girl health scheme...i think she would have been about 12 maybe...so that would have been in the mid 60s...

astoness:)
 

BordesleyExile

master brummie
Pam the building in the back of the first photograph below was referred to as the TB Sanatorium around 1960. Pro Juventute, the children's sanatorium is to the right of the picture though I cannot recall the building to the left. The children used to use the medical facilities at the TB Sanatorium including x ray facilities such as I have never since seen & what I am told was an ioniser. The second & third pictures are very blurred & there is nothing I can do about that as they are from the alpine kinderklinic website but they show Pro Juventute with the trianglar playground bordered by the path along which the children are walking in photo two.
 

pam1511

master brummie
Thanks for the pictures Bordesleyexile..
My momhas some photos of her sister standing on the balcony of that building I will try and dig them out if I can.Many thanks Pam
 

BordesleyExile

master brummie
Thanks, Pam it would be great if you could post some pictures. Astoness I hope your friend's heath improved. We were told the success rate was good for most children who stayed in Davos.
 
4

491942

Guest
I Went out to Davos in the spring of 1953 on the Kunzel scheme and stayed at chateau bruxelles.I visited last year (Sept 2009) and things are much the same except it has been turned into a apartments.There is a brass plaque on the gate(in German)giving a history of the place.Whilst I was there I visited St Lukes church,where we sang in the choir.Does anyone remember a child drowning in lake Davosee in 1953,I believe he or she was something to do with a member of staff at the chateau. All being well my wife and self will be going back again this year(we like walking) so take advantage of the Davos free pass.
 
A

alfred

Guest
hi i am new to this site, not sure how it all works i am intrested in lots of the stories, however just looking at Davos int 1953 my father was there at this time, name afred. i hope to add to your stories soon
 
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