The memory of Kosciuszko in Solothurn has been preserved because many participants in the two unsuccessful Polish uprisings against Russian rule (1830 and 1863) escaped, found refuge in Switzerland, and wanted to honor his heritage.
The first place where Kosciuszko commemorations took place annually was his tomb at the cemetery in Zuchwil, near Solothurn. In 1844, the bust of Kosciuszko made in bronze by famous French sculptor Jean Pierre David d'Angers was placed on a column at his grave. In 1865, a commemorative plate was put up on the former Zeltner family house at Gurzelngasse street. The plate was the work of Hedwig Pfluger, a young resident of Solothurn, and was solemnly consecrated in the presence of many Polish associations from all over Switzerland. At the same time, on the initiative of national councilor and Solothurn mayor, Wilhelm Vigier, the original Kosciuszko Society was launched with Poles and Solothurners as its original members, joined by supporters from across the country, particularly from Zürich and St-Gallen.
As time passed and the context changed, the Kosciuszko Society was re-established in 1936, jointly with the opening of the Kosciuszko Museum in Solothurn.
Today, the Kosciuszko Society counts 550 members. Through its activities, Swiss and Poles want to maintain friendly relations between the two nations.
The Kosciuszko Society owns the museum and maintains the Kosciuszko tomb in Zuchwil and the Polish chapel nearby.
The Society is financed through memberships and grants from the Canton and the City of Solothurn.
The Society participates in annual ceremonies organized by Polish migrant communities.
The Presidents of the Society since inception were: from 1936 and for more than a quarter-century Cantonal Councillor, Dr. Max Obrecht, Mayor of Solothurn Robert Kurt, Cantonal Councillor Dr. Urs Dietschi, Cantonal Councillor Dr. Franz Josef Jeger, Cantonal Councillor Dr. Alfred Rötheli, Since 2000, Cantonal Councillor Dr. Thomas Wallner, Since 2016, Cantonal Councillor Dr. Remo Ankli.
Board of the Kosciuszko Society
Dr. Remo Ankli, Government Council of the canton of Solothurn
Kurt Fluri, National Council
Pfarrer Gregor Piotrowski
Konsul Marek Głuszko