Fewer anti-Semitic attacks recorded in Switzerland last year
An elderly Jewish philanthropist from Switzerland and his wife died in a fire in their Zurich home.
Swiss authorities turned away only 3,000 Jewish refugees during the Holocaust and not 24,500 as believed, French Nazi hunter and historian Serge Klarsfeld said.
The Swiss government knew about the Nazi program to wipe out Jews in 1942 -- earlier than previously known -- documents publicized by a Swiss television station suggest. A report aired by the German-language station SRF on Sunday, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, said the government was aware of German leader Adolf Hitler’s extermination plan and the existence of German concentration camps as early as 1942, the year that Germany decided on its so-called “final solution” for the Jews.
A Swiss army commander reportedly praised Nazi-era German general Erwin Rommel before a group of officers, holding up Rommel as an example for the Swiss army to follow.
Dutch police reportedly arrested and extradited to Switzerland a 22-year-old Briton suspected of stabbing a Jewish man in Geneva.
The Israeli Olympic tennis duo of Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram upset the 2008 gold medalists in men’s doubles, Roger Federer and Stanislaw Wawrinca of Switzerland.
Today come reports that hospitals in Zurich and St. Gallen have suspended the practice on Jewish and Muslim boys in the wake of a similar ban in Germany ordered by a judge in Cologne.
Arthur Stern, inventor, activist and philanthropist, died in his home in Los Angeles May 25, 2012 at 87. Arthur Stern was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1925. His life story combined Holocaust-era heroism, scientific excellence, pioneering technological innovation, passionate pro-Israel activism, Jewish community volunteer work, and a stellar devotion to peace and justice.
Basel, a city with a Jewish population of some 2,000, saw the opening of its fifth synagogue.
"If we're going to end this conflict," former U.S. Middle East envoy Dennis Ross conveyed in the video clip, "we need to address matters from the grass roots on up."
The Hotel Edelweiss in St. Moritz and the Hotel Metropol in Arosa are Jewish sanctuaries for observant tourists, offering everything from kosher dining and space for simchas to daily religious services and snow-melt mikvahs.
My great-uncle, Jacques Graubart, came to town last weekend. Jacques, a fit and vigorous 79, has always been the superhero against whom I've measured my life. Jacques entered the Resistance when he was 19 and rowed hundreds of Jews to safety from occupied France into Switzerland. He was caught frequently by the French and escaped every time but the last time. Incarcerated by the Nazis in a series of concentration camps, Jacques survived a death march of prisoners that began with 1,400 and ended with himself and only three others alive.
"You can't confront evil on its own ground without becoming part of it," muses diplomat Heinrich Zwygart in "The Envoy," and his self-recognition clearly applies to Switzerland, the country he represented faithfully in Berlin during the six years of World War II.
Who were the Nazi's victims? The Swiss-banks case has one definition. Other pending and future litigation may provide a fuller historical picture.
Jewish refugees fortunate enough to make it into Switzerland during World War II, were, in most cases, interned in forced-labor camps, required to perform hard physical labor under primitive living conditions, and separated from their families.
Has unremitting pressure on the Swiss government and its banks byAmerican Jewish organizations and supportive politicians becomecounterproductive, or will only constant prodding move the Swiss todo the right thing?
About the time one is tempted to feel a wee bit sorry for the Swiss over the barrage of flak they're now getting, along comes a new probe of the country's conduct during World War II to set the blood boiling again.