Die Gräserhöhle bei Arcegno

Franz Lindenmayr

In the hilly landscape above Ascona at the northern end of Lago Maggiore in Ticino is the little village of Arcegno. It is not far from there to the remotely situated Gräserhöhle which is only a tiny space under huge boulders.

At the beginning oft he 20th century, there was a small group of young people who set off from Munich on foot to start a new life in the southern part of Switzerland. This was the start of the Monte-Veritá-movement. One person from this group, Gusto Gräser, later called a writer, philosopher and bon vivant, was forced to leave and became a cave hermit there for some time.
The thrilling question is, whether he was visited during that period by Hermann Hesse, who spent some time at the Monte Veritá for recreation purposes. Did they meet several times for a longer period in the cave and are there traces of this contact in the work of the Nobel price winner?
There are completely different opinions about these questions, which are presented critically.