ADL Commends Independent Commission For Clarifying Switzerland's Role in World War II
New York, NY, March 22, 2002 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today commended the work of the Independent Commission of Experts, and its Chairman, the historian Jean-Francois Bergier, for their completion of a 26-volume study on Switzerland's role during World War II.
"The study seems to be a serious piece of scholarship that addresses some of the most sensitive questions about Switzerland's role, particularly regarding Jewish refugees and Swiss financing of the Nazi war machine," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor. "It is unfortunate that it took pressure from the international community to get Switzerland to make this effort.
"Now that it has fulfilled this task in a responsible manner, the findings should mandate Switzerland to move forward, teaching its future generations about the moral failings of the past and using the lessons of the past to promote a more tolerant society. It is our hope that as part of this process, the findings of this report will be widely disseminated in Switzerland so as to become crucial to the understanding of the nation's actions during the war."
The five-year study concluded that Switzerland turned away about 30,000 Jewish refugees, who were captured by Nazis and sent to concentration camps, where most died. Mr. Bergier said that Swiss individuals and "large segments of the population" attempted to work against the government policy on refugees, to little avail.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.