The Holocaust Historiography Project

Switzerland in the Grip of the 'Traditional Enemy'

Bernhard Schaub

Our country is today involved in the greatest foreign policy crisis since the Second World War. It faces a powerful enemy who, paradoxically, hardly anyone dares to name because in the western world he enjoys a kind of state protection, and because he portrays itself in the image of the eternally persecuted. In this situation, the blackmailer has been able to appear as the poor, persecuted victim, and to take advantage of most people’s good nature and sense of fair play.

How could it have come to this? To recapitulate a few things: In 1991 the Swiss confederation celebrated its 700th anniversary. On this occasion there appeared in the year book (Jahrbuch) of Migros, Switzerland’s largest chain store, an interview with labor union secretary Ruth Dreifuss. At the time this Jewish woman, and a former Zionist youth movement member, was not very well known. In this interview she expressed herself with disarming openness about our country’s future. She said that, as far as she was concerned, it is not important whether Switzerland survives as a sovereign country, but that, in any case, she certainly wishes to see Switzerland as a colorful country, that is of people of mixed race with many mixed marriages. A short time later Dreifuss was appointed, under unusual circumstances, to a high-level post on the governing Federal Council (Bundesrat).

Then came a bustle of activity, most notably the introduction of a so-called anti-racism law, which makes it a crime to “deny or whitewash the genocide,” and a campaign to encourage guilt feelings among the Swiss regarding their role during the Second World War.

It should be kept in mind that Switzerland stayed out of the conflict as a neutral country, even though during the war years it was completely surrounded by Axis countries. For this small mountainous country without natural resources, import and export is a matter of survival — and naturally this was true during the war as well. Among the goods routinely traded were military supplies and gold. Everywhere this has always been the case, and it’s not likely to change much in the future. There was no reason under international law why Switzerland should have stopped its trade with the Third Reich.

As it had in earlier times of war, Switzerland once again took seriously its role as a humanitarian country. The International Committee of the Red Cross, headquartered in Geneva, was very active everywhere it was permitted to operate. Some 300,000 refugees were given shelter in Switzerland, of whom almost 30,000 were Jews. By percentage of population this was far more than any other country.

But let us return to Federal Council member Dreifuss. She and her Social Democratic Party, with the help of the largely cooperative or coordinated media, did not tire of maligning Switzerland. At the same time, and parallel with this, Jewish circles in the United States began a massive campaign of accusations against Switzerland, with fantastic demands for money. At this same time, a Jewish woman, May Kunin, was coincidentally named as the US ambassador to Switzerland. International Jewish community leaders Edgar Bronfman, Israel Singer and Avraham Burg joined in, increasing the pressure on Switzerland to such an extent that Federal Council president Jean-Pascal Delamuraz spoke of a campaign of “blackmail,” and the Swiss ambassador in the United States, Carlo Jagmetti, even referred, in a confidential paper, to this as a “war.” (Jagmetti promptly resigned, and Delamuraz was condemned to silence.)

Even though some resistance to this campaign has been developing around the out-spoken businessman and parliamentary deputy Christoph Blocher, these recent developments suggest that very probably Switzerland will submit to the pressure and pay up.

How was all this possible? The reason is quite simple. All discussions of this matter are based on two axiomatic premises, and an associated conclusion:

First, the Third Reich gassed six million Jews,

Second, so many people can’t be killed without the neighboring countries taking notice, and

Third, therefore the Swiss must have known and thereby are also co-guilty.

While a number of revisionist historians have effectively discredited the first premise, recently two prominent Swiss historians of contemporary history have specifically repudiated the conclusion: Prof. J. R. Salis and Prof. E. Bonjour confirm that knowledgeable Swiss authorities had no solid evidence of any mass extermination before the end of the war (Recht und Freiheit, Oct. 2, 1995; Thurgauer Zeitung, June 2, 1997). [See also: Arthur R. Butz, “Context and Perspective in the 'Holocaust' Controversy,” The Journal of Historical Review, Winter 1982, pp. 371-405.]

But to say such a thing can bring a thinking person into trouble with the law: if the third sentence is not correct, the first or second premise must not be true. The second cannot be doubted because it corresponds with basic common sense. Logically the Allied secret services would have promptly learned of mass gassings, and the Allied political leaders certainly would not have ignored such an opportunity for propaganda against Germany. Therefore the first premise must be dubious. But that’s something no one dares to think because it’s not permitted. As a result, Frau Dreifuss can claim with no fear of contradiction that Switzerland’s wartime Federal Council “knew that Jews were being annihilated” (Nouveau Quotidien, May 9, 1995). Hardly anyone dares seriously to contradict this, much less to make the revisionist argument in a forceful way.

In this catastrophic situation, which points up Switzerland’s laughable and humiliating subordination to world Jewry, the question arises: why now, more than half a century after the events in question?

In answering this question, it should be stressed that this campaign is concerned with something quite different than historical justice. Accordingly, the accusations are not made against specific individuals or institutions, but rather involve a propaganda campaign against an entire country. Moreover, it should be noted, the accusations are not made by a foreign country or government, but rather entirely by individual persons and private institutions (especially the World Jewish Congress), which, under international law, our federal government is under no obligation even to answer. To the contrary, the Swiss government would be justified in formally calling on Washington to curtail the impertinent Senator Alphonse D'Amato. But nothing like that is happening.

If it’s not historical justice that our adversaries are concerned about, what is it?

Switzerland is in some ways a troublesome country. It is the world’s only direct democracy, which means that our government must submit every major decision or policy to a referendum of the people. This is what Swiss people understand by freedom, and why the half-historical, half-mystical figure of Wilhelm Tell is a national symbol.

Switzerland is also a neutral country, a status rooted in an ancient conception of self that goes back to the sacred national figure Niklaus von Flüe. In the 15th century this mystic gave this piece of advice to his warlike Swiss compatriots: “Don’t involve yourself in foreign affairs. But if someone attacks you, defend yourselves bravely.” Since that time the idea of armed neutrality has been a basic Swiss principle.

These two basic principles of the Swiss Confederation help explain why Switzerland has not joined any international organizations. The Swiss have rejected membership in the United Nations organization, NATO, and the European Union because they fear a loss of sovereignty and do not want to send their men to war on behalf of foreign powers. At the same time no one can accuse Switzerland of narrow-minded nationalism. Alongside the majority German-speaking population, people of French and Italian culture live here unthreatened and with complete equal rights. It is no wonder that prominent thinkers and influential statesman time and again have cited Switzerland as a model for European unification. Recently, for example, the deputy chairman of the CDU/CSU faction in the German Bundestag, Heiner Geissler, said: “Switzerland is a prototype for what the European Union should look like politically” (Brückenbauer, March 5, 1997).

It seem paradoxical, but therein lays the deeper reason for the on-going campaign against Switzerland: it is a fight against the Swiss idea. And one must remember that this idea is based on a very solid foundation. Our country may be geographically small, but it is the seventh most important industrial country in Europe, and one of the world’s most important financial centers.

If such a country defies what is called the “New World Order,” then in spite of its apparent small size it is a factor of intellectual and economic importance to be taken seriously in the calculation of the “one worlders.”

This “New World Order” is not to be directly democratic, nor will it respect developed cultures. To the contrary, it will be, as Winston Churchill once warned, “an authoritarian, almighty world order” (Speeches of Winston Churchill, New York, 1974). As the founder of the Paneuropa Union, Count Richard N. Coudenhove-Kalergi, spelled out in his book, Praktischer Idealismus ("Practical Idealism"; Vienna/Leipzig, 1925), its population will consist of a “Eurasian-Negroid mixed race.”

This “one world” will also require a common spiritual foundation, a religious basis. According to an official of the Canadian B'nai B'rith organization, Ian J. Kagedan, this will be the Holocaust faith (Toronto Star, Nov. 26, 1991). It is characteristic that the term for the alleged mass gassing of Jews is a Greek word that comes from the language of the ancient religions.

Thus, this truly “New World Order” will be: one world, with one government, one (mixed) race, ruled by one “chosen” people, one god (Yahweh), and one cult — the Holocaust.

The Switzerland idea is the antithesis of this, and therefore must be destroyed. To accomplish this, bombs are not necessary. It will suffice to discredit the Swiss idea in the world, and among the Swiss themselves — to disparage it so that people will reject it and turn to the arms of the “New World Order.”

To morally destroy an adversary, nothing works better than to accuse him of complicity with the Third Reich. This task was taken up by Senator D'Amato as the instrument of the New York Zionists. Today the same tried and true method is being used against Switzerland that for years has successfully worked against Germany. Accusations without basis are made according to the notion that people are more inclined to accept a big lie than a small one. At the same time the claim is made that these accusations can be proven with countless documents. Eventually the public begins to believe that such documents actually exist because newspapers, radio and television all say so. In this campaign, the largest circulation magazines of our country even use doctored photographs (as the conservative middle class opposition periodical Schweizerzeit recently revealed [March 7, 1997]).

The most diverse accusations are made in this masterful campaign of deliberate confusion, so that the hapless media consumer has no idea what the real situation is. The goal here is not to honestly inform the people, but rather to confuse the public in a fog of guilt feelings.

Let’s take a look at the most important of the accusations. The most serious is that Swiss banks have kept for themselves enormous sums of money deposited by Jews, instead of turning over this money to the rightful heirs. American Jews speak of 30 billion Swiss Francs. There is also talk of hoarding stolen art treasures, of laundering gold to the advantage of the Third Reich, and from time to time there’s mention of the infamous gold teeth of gassed Jews.

The Swiss are also accused of welcoming too few Jewish refugees during the war, thereby condemning tens of thousand of Jews to “certain death". Swiss Jews who gave support to Jewish refugees in Switzerland during the war are now suddenly demanding that the Swiss government compensate them for their expenditures. And, predictably, the Gypsies are now also speaking up and demanding money as well.

This entire absurd comedy might be simply laughed off if one did not understand that our contemporaries have been thoroughly impregnated with the Holocaust religion. As a result, even patriotic groups in Switzerland argue that we should attempt to discredit these accusations rather than turn the tables around and come to grips with the fundamental issues of contemporary history.

The commission of historians set up by the Swiss government therefore should not merely investigate our trade and refugee policy during the war, but, more to the point, deal with the question of the supposed destruction of the Jews. In this regard they could cite the statement by the Freiburg historian Ulrich Herbert, who recently said: “Historians have so far only interpreted the Holocaust. The task now is to investigate it” (Frankfurter Rundschau, Feb. 13, 1997).

It is high time to transform this conflict from one of morally vulnerable sentiment to one of intelligent, clear-headed analysis. For the time being this may be little more than a lonely call in the desert. One is also justified in fearing legal repercussions for reaching conclusions in this controversial subject different than the officially permitted ones. By the same token no one dares to shed light on the dark history of Zionism, and thereby to go on the counterattack.

Meanwhile, bowing to “international” pressure, Swiss banks and businesses have established a fund of 150 Million Swiss francs to help Holocaust victims. This was done even though originally everyone was supposed to wait for the release (in the summer of 1997) of the report of the already-mentioned historians' commission. But in the meantime New York and world Jewry were threatening a boycott of Swiss financial institutions, and this is something the Swiss banks could not dare risk. They much preferred to pay something right away. A short time later the Swiss Federal Council decided to establish a “solidarity foundation,” based on our gold reserves with a starting capital of seven billion.

On the other side of the Atlantic, Senator D'Amato triumphantly spoke of a “admission or acknowledgment of guilt.” This is reminiscent of the dictated Versailles treaty of 1919, whereby Germany was obliged to sign a guilt clause or face military occupation. Switzerland is today experiencing its own Versailles Diktat. It is being forced to pay reparations, and one day it may likewise endure its own Nuremberg. At a press conference last last year, Jewish attorney Edward D. Fagan stated: “Germany was brought to court in Nuremberg, and Switzerland will be brought to court in Brooklyn” (Tagesanzeiger, Nov. 29, 1996.)

This campaign is by no means finished. Its goal will be reached only when little Switzerland and all of Europe are finally forced into submission.

— March 12, 1997

Bernhard Schaub, was born in 1954 in Bern, Switzerland. He taught history and German at a private school in Zurich until January 1993, when he was fired without notice. This termination was a consequence of his 1992 book, Adler und Rose, on the history of German-speaking Central Europe. Because passages in this book call wartime “gassings” into question, the author was subjected to media smears. Since January 1993 he has worked as an independent teacher of adult education courses. He is the father of two daughters. (Adler und Rose is available from: Postfach 386, 8105 Regensdorf, Switzerland.)