Matthias Wittig, Berlin
Huldrych Zwingli (1484–1531) is one of the most significant figures of the Reformation. His influence cannot be overstated, especially for Zurich and many southern German cities, including Augsburg, Constance and Ulm.
Zwingli’s rise to prominence began when he became pastor of the Great Minster in Zurich in 1519. Working with Leo Jud, he then completed a full translation of the Bible into Alemannic German, the official language of the Swiss Confederation. This means that a German-language Bible existed even before Luther’s version. That’s more than enough reason for a Swiss–German joint issue honouring “Huldrych Zwingli – 500 years Reformation in Zurich and southern Germany”.
A competition to find the design for the special stamp was run in the two countries, with a German entry emerging triumphant. It impressed the jury with its contemporary design and use of a poignant quotation, which translates as “For God’s sake, do something brave”. These words were chosen because it is difficult to convey Zwingli’s courage with the surviving portraits. The intention was to transport observers 500 years back in time by talking to them directly.
Celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation The Reformed Church of the Canton of Zurich and the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches will hold a service on 12 May 2019 to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. This will take place at the Great Minster in Zurich, where Zwingli’s Reformation began. Many guests from Switzerland and abroad are expected to attend this special celebration. zhref.ch/reformationsjubilaeum