History of Italy Switzerland

Switzerland after World War I, 1930-1939

With the Fascists in power in Italy since 1922, Austria a rightist dictatorship since 1932 and Hitler in power in Germany since 1933, Switzerland returned to a policy of Strict Neutrality.
In 1931, Swissair was created by the merger of several companies.
The sympathies of the Swiss media and Swiss public opinion were with the western democracies. German intellectuals, such as Thomas Mann (Nobel Prize for iterature 1929), went to Switzerland asking for asylum (he later went on to the U.S.). Asylum in Switzerland required that a Swiss citizen would vouch for the applicant, that the applicant would not ask for Swiss unemployment benefits or other state expenses. When in 1938, following the so-called Reichskristallnacht", the numbers of asylum-seeking Jewish refugees from Germany rose sharply, the Swiss government, declaring that it cannot take in more, proclaimed 'Das Boot ist voll' (i.e. the boat is full), refused entry to many of them.
Meanwhile in Germany a campaign against so-called "Degenerate Art" was underway; artwork classified as such was removed from musea and auctioned off - mostly in Switzerland. As Jews were permitted to leave Germany only with a suitcase each, large amounts of confiscated Jewish property also was auctioned off, again in Switzerland.

La Suisse dans l'entre-deux-guerres, from cliotexte
History of Swissair, from Airline History
Article National Front (Switzerland), Far Right in Switzerland, from Wikipedia; Article Faschismus, from : Historisches Lexikon der Schweiz, in German; Peter Ofner, Helvetofaschismus - Die Nationale Front. Die Faschistischen Tendenzen in der Schweiz der Zwischenkriegszeit. Entstehung, Geschichte und Niedergang der Nationalen Front, 2002, in German
DOCUMENTS Historical Population Statistics : Switzerland, from Population Statistics, at Univ. Utrecht
REFERENCE Chapter XXXV : The Notable Neutrals, pp.496-506 in : John Gunther, Inside Europe, 1940 war edition, NY : Harper & Bros. 1940 [G]
Article : Switzerland, in : Statesman's Yearbook 1932 pp.1322-1335, 1937 pp.1353-1367 [G]
Article : Switzerland, in : Americana Annual 1932 pp.679-680, 1933 pp.732-734, 1934 pp.563-565, 1935 pp.683-685, 1936 pp.693-694, 1937 pp.666-668, 1938 pp.660-662, 1939 pp.723-725 [G]
Article : Switzerland, in : New International Year Book 1932 pp.775-776, 1933 pp.778-779, 1934 pp.679-680, 1935 pp.694-695, 1938 pp.714-715, 1939 pp.746-748 [G]
Article : Switzerland, in : Funk & Wagnall's New Standard Encyclopedia Year Book 1932 pp.490-491, 1933 pp.486-487, 1934 pp.492-493, 1935 pp.491-493, 1936 pp.477-478, 1937 pp.480-481, 1938 pp.479-480, 1939 pp.496-497 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on January 9th 2002, last revised on July 6th 2008

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