April 1965

Franz Weber’s Awakening Experience and Hour of Destiny

On his way back from a trip to Italy, Franz Weber did a stopover in the Engadine and heard about the construction plans in Surlej near Silvaplana. The dreamy village with about 30 souls is to be transformed into a town with 25,000 inhabitants.



During the following sleepless night, Franz Weber transformed: from journalist to environmentalist. He organized an intense media campaign and founded the association “Pro Surlej”. With it, he raises the necessary funds, acquires numerous plots of land essential for the construction project and imposes a perpetual ban on building on them.

With this unprecedented action, Franz Weber saved the lakes of Engadine and its truly unique landscape, praised by Nietzsche himself. “Pro Surlej” is just the beginning of a total of 150 campaigns to save animals, landscapes and natural heritage.

Photo: From journalist to environmentalist: Franz Weber launches his first campaign against a town with 25,000 inhabitants in the Engadine – with success. Overnight he became the most famous international environmentalist.