The Swiss, The Gold And The Dead: How Swiss Bankers Helped Finance the Nazi War Machine

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9780151003341: The Swiss, The Gold And The Dead: How Swiss Bankers Helped Finance the Nazi War Machine

Recent startling revelations that Switzerland helped to bankroll Nazi Germany's war effort, and Swiss intransigence in the face of redress claims by Holocaust survivors, have shaken Switerland's international reputation. In this uncompromising account, leading Swiss sociologist Jean Ziegler closely examines the shady relationship between Swiss bankers and Nazi Germany. Based on the records of the German Armaments Ministry and other official documents, The Swiss, the Gold, and the Dead shows how Switzerland's leading financial institutions provided Hittler with the foreign exchange essential to his war effort-laundering gold looted from the banks of occupied Europe and from the bodies of concentration camp victims; granting sizable loans; and supplying Germany's war economy with weapons, ammunition, and precision instruments. In returen, Switzerland was spared the devastation that befell the rest of Europe. Ziegler argues forcefully and authoritatively that without Swiss complicity the war in Europe would have ended earlier, sparing hundreds of thousands of lives. Drawing on more than thirty years of experience in Switzerland's domestic politic and international diplomacy, Professor Ziegler has made an important contribution to this highly controversial and emotional subject.

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At what price neutrality? For the 50 years following World War II, Switzerland has maintained that whatever collaboration it may have engaged in with Nazi Germany was undertaken in hopes of avoiding invasion. Recently, however, foreign governments and the families of Holocaust victims have begun to take an interest in the fate of the many millions of dollars' worth of Jewish gold, works of art, and money that disappeared into numbered Swiss bank accounts during the war, never to be seen again. In The Swiss, the Gold, and the Dead, Swiss professor and parliamentarian Jean Ziegler provides a provocative, damning portrait of the Swiss banking community and his fellow countrymen. According to Ziegler, the global financial power that Switzerland now wields is the direct result of the Nazi plunder laundered in Swiss banks, a result that the Swiss people have accepted without guilt or question. It's not surprising that Ziegler's book is controversial in his own country; the Swiss people are understandably reluctant to accept the complicity of their government in funding Hitler's war effort. What is disturbing is the Swiss government's continued attempts to obstruct open discussion of the past. The Swiss, the Gold, and the Dead will certainly make official denials a little bit harder to swallow.

About the Author:

Jean Zeigler is a contributor for the following Houghton Mifflin Company Title: The Swiss, The Gold And The Dead

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