Sunday, March 22, 2020
The Sinister Face Of 'Neutrality' | FRONTLINE | PBS
Switzerland's reputation as a neutral safe-haven during World War 11 has been badly tarnished by recent revelations about its wartime transactions with Germany. What began as an examination of the dormant bank accounts of Holocaust victims has gained momentum to include the whole gamut of Swiss financial dealings with the Nazis. In recent months a vast amount of incriminating documentation has been unearthed that reveals the sinister side of Swiss "neutrality".
Switzerland served as a repository for Jewish capital smuggled out of Nazi Germany and the states threatened by it, and also for vast quantities of gold and other valuables plundered from Jews and others all over Europe. Right up until the end of the war, Switzerland laundered hundreds of millions of dollars in stolen assets, including gold taken from the central banks of German-occupied Europe. At the war's end Switzerland successfully resisted Allied calls to restitute these funds, and in the Washington Agreement of 1946 the Allies contented themselves with acceptance of a mere 12% of the stolen gold. Holocaust survivors and the heirs of those who perished met an implacable wall of bureaucracy and only a handful managed to reclaim their assets. See the full story in headline link above.