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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Switzerland's immoral 'neutrality'

If any of you were surprised by Sunday night's meeting between Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, you should not have been. Merz claimed Switzerland's 'neutrality' as justification for him to meet with the man Israeli Knesset speaker Ruby Rivlin called the 'Persian-speaking Hitler.' Switzerland has a long history of making claims like that. For instance, look at its behavior during World War II.
Back in 1938, when Berlin was ascendant, the Swiss requested that Germany and Austria mark the passports of their Jewish citizens with a "J" so that Berne could distinguish between "genuine political refugees" and fleeing Jews. A Swiss police captain named Paul Gruninger who allowed thousands of Jews to cross the border illegally was thrown off the force.

But when it suited Swiss "rationale," Jews were allowed in - from The Netherlands and Belgium in 1941; from Italy in 1943. And in 1944, 1,684 Jews were permitted to enter from Bergen Belson as part of the Rudolf Kastner-Adolf Eichmann deal.

All told, perhaps 30,000 Jews managed to reach Switzerland during the Shoah.

All along, Eduard Von Steiger, who was in charge of Switzerland's refugee policies, claimed that "the boat is full." He would later explain that had he known the Nazis were systematically slaughtering Europe's Jews on the other side of the Swiss border, "we might have widened the bound (sic) of what was possible."

That alibi has more holes than a piece of Emmental cheese. By May 1942, Swiss army intelligence had photos of Jews who had been asphyxiated by the Nazis at the Russian front.


Hugo Remuad, of the Swiss Red Cross, argued that genocidal anti-Semitism was simply a consequence of there being too many Jews. Or as Swiss judge Eugen Von Hasler put it: "It is also in our own interest that the greatest thing of all [the destruction of Europe's Jews] is coming to pass, and our hearts beat as one with the young white men who, dog-tired, forge onward to the East as [defenders] of European culture."

Meanwhile, Swiss banks raked in their spoils both by collaborating with the Nazis over pilfered Jewish cash and gold, and - later - by retaining some 36,000 bank accounts, valued at $1 billion, belonging to murdered Jews. This wealth lay dormant until 2004, when a class-action suit (and the resultant Volker Committee) forced Swiss banks to begin returning the money to the estates of the murdered.
Read it all. And then think about spending your vacation elsewhere.


At 4:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just yesterday, we actually did discount the idea of travelling to Switzerland for this reason.

At 6:29 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Switzerland is a lovely country to be sure. But its charmed cities and breathtaking Alpine landscape conceals the moral rot in its soul. Don't make the mistake of thinking refinement in place and time lead a people to be virtuous. The Swiss demonstrated how much they looked down on the Jews during World War II and how little their thinking has changed now that Israel is on the scene.

At 2:02 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

There is no question that the Swiss were shits, but why do the swedes get off scot-free?
The supplied the Wehrmacht with iron ore bartered for with Jewish gold


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