April 1965

Awareness and turning point for Franz Weber

At his return from an Italian trip, Franz Weber made a stop at Engadine. He was informed about a construction project at Surlej, close to Silvaplana. The village of 30 souls at the heart of idyllic landscapes, according to the project, should be transformed into a 25,000 inhabitants city. During the sleepless following night, Franz Weber transformed from journalist to an environmental defender.

He started an intense media campaign and founded the association “Pro Surlej”, with it he managed to gather the necessary funds. He bought several plots of land strategically, key to the construction project and striked them with a permanent prohibition of construction. With this unprecedented action, Franz Weber saved the lakes of Engadine and its unique landscapes, praised by Nietzsche himself. “Pro Surlej” was just the first of 150 campaigns to save animals, landscapes and natural heritage.

Photo: The journalist turned environmental defender: Franz Weber launched with success his first campaign against the construction of a 25,000 inhabitants city in Engadine. Overnight, he became one of the most famous ecologists in the world.