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Federal Council Declaration on Second Eizenstat Report

Federal Council Declaration on Second Eizenstat Report

The Federal Council today acknowledged receipt of the so-called Second
Eizenstat Report  published by the American government; it views it as a
further contribution to clarifying events before, during, and after World War

This report concerns partial aspects of the role played by neutral and
nonbelligerant countries during World War II. It points out the difficult
position in which especially some of these countries - Switzerland among them -
found themselves during the war as well as the complexity of the historic
context. It says in effect that it is wrong to oversimplify and apportion
historic blame on the basis of isolated facts.

In regard to Switzerland, the American report contains no essentially new
findings. Thus no change is appropriate in the Federal Council´s consistently
pursued course concerning the principles of truth, justice, and solidarity. The
Federal Council notes with satisfaction that the report also points out the
particular threat to our country by the Axis Powers and criticizes the long
period during which the Great Powers tolerated the Nazi regime. The report also
mentions many positive aspects of Switzerland´s conduct. It underscores that
Switzerland sympathized deeply with the Allies. It acknowledged that
Switzerland, although a small country, had accepted comparitively many
refugees. Beside the protecting power activity which benefited Allied prisoners
of war, it mentions Switzerland´s good offices in arranging the armistice in
northern Italy and at the end of the war in the Pacific. The report also
acknowledges in a highly positive way the strenuous efforts of Switzerland to
reappraise its history. The Federal Council already clearly denied the
unacceptable criticism of the initial Eizenstat Report when it was published.

The Federal Council pointed out that publication of the Independent Commission
of Experts´ interim report on gold proves that Switzerland takes the
reappraisal of its history seriously. It welcomes the fact that the U.S.
government is also taking this course with its report and appointment of a
Presidential commission.

It hopes that the report now in hand will contribute to more objective
discussion, particularly in the United States, on Switzerland´s role during
World War II.

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