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  #121  
Old 26.01.2007, 00:27
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

Spmull wrote: First: I said that the Swiss were special in terms of their attraction to the Nazis... in that a majority of the Swiss are Germanic. The Nazis cared about "race" above everything else. No matter how strange and idiotic that sounds to us, this was honestly their most important concern. Some Swiss, being that they are technically "Germanic," were attracted to this message. It is much stronger, naturally, than an attraction to the ideology of the Nazis. This was an attachment to the movement in its most "pure" sense.

The Nazi’s used the word Aryan to describe their race. They were particularly proud of the strong Nordic Aryan, which they thought of as being the epitome of all that is perfect (race-wise). ‘Adolf Hitler and the Nazis had hoped that the 1936 Olympics would prove their theory of racial superiority. However, the people of Berlin rejected the Nazi propaganda and hailed Jesse Owens as their hero of the Berlin Olympics.’ The use of the notion of race supremecy was for political reasons- ‘Nazi use of the term "Aryan" was wildly inconsistent with the claimed meaning. Gypsies, of Indian descent and language, were classified non-Aryan, while the Japanese were made honorary Aryans during World War II. In effect, "non-Aryan" ended up very nearly meaning, "insufficiently nationalistic".’ Wikipedia
The notion of race was used to whip up nationalistic sympathy, and brainwash people into thinking that crimes against humanity, the torture and execution of Jews and Gypsies was justified. It was a tool to defend their culture against other cultures. For Hitler it may have been to vent his humiliation for his father being the bastard child of an Ashkenazi Jew and a servant girl.
Chamberlain’s book, The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century,
Doubtless the force of heredity is far more significant in the case of the pure races. It is certain that in favourably bastardised races the kinetic cultural energy will constantly prevail, while in the pure inbred races the potential cultural energy will always prevail; but that only the latter is the fruitful soil from which the ingenious power of creation as well as the artistic and moral genius may grow forth.
The notion of Zionism as a race is itself is preposterous. The Zionist cause gathered pace after the war. What goes around comes around. So many wars seem to have been fought to defend ‘ race’, It is strange to me that for all the ‘racism’ that I encountered in Switzerland, and for all the joking about cantonal racial differences, the Swiss, to me, seem to defend their cultural heritage, not their bloodline. Race was not the Nazi’s most important concern, supreme power as a nation was. All the German-Swiss that I met would tell you that they are Swiss, and a mixture of races definitely not German.
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  #122  
Old 26.01.2007, 09:34
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

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Do you spend a lot of time reading history ? Your knowledge of political subjects is impressive!
I'm considering looking into a Ph.D program in European history in the US (otherwise law school). I am doing my darndest to learn German and become fluent while I'm here in Switzerland, although Swiss German is delaying it a lot (I understand as much Swiss German as High German). That being the case, I've only had time to read a few books in English since I arrived here... I am starting to think about reading some history books in German, although I think that reading literature is better for vocabularly.

There is, in my opinion, a real lack of literature on Switzerland in English. In my city's public library in the US there was actually more on Liechtenstein available!
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  #123  
Old 26.01.2007, 09:37
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

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Chamberlain’s book, The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century,
Doubtless the force of heredity is far more significant in the case of the pure races. It is certain that in favourably bastardised races the kinetic cultural energy will constantly prevail, while in the pure inbred races the potential cultural energy will always prevail; but that only the latter is the fruitful soil from which the ingenious power of creation as well as the artistic and moral genius may grow forth.
The notion of Zionism as a race is itself is preposterous. The Zionist cause gathered pace after the war. What goes around comes around. So many wars seem to have been fought to defend ‘ race’, It is strange to me that for all the ‘racism’ that I encountered in Switzerland, and for all the joking about cantonal racial differences, the Swiss, to me, seem to defend their cultural heritage, not their bloodline. Race was not the Nazi’s most important concern, supreme power as a nation was. All the German-Swiss that I met would tell you that they are Swiss, and a mixture of races definitely not German.
Why do you think that the Swiss ultimately remained neutral? Being Swiss won out in terms of Swiss identity. In 1871 'Germany' was unified without the 'southern' Germans, i.e. the Swiss and Austrians. After the Austrian's lost their empire, they experienced a real identity crisis, and ultimately decided to join with Nazi Germany. The Swiss, on the other hand, did not lose an empire in 1918, and part of their own national identity was based upon neutrality.
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  #124  
Old 26.01.2007, 11:38
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

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I'm considering looking into a Ph.D program in European history in the US (otherwise law school). I am doing my darndest to learn German and become fluent while I'm here in Switzerland, although Swiss German is delaying it a lot (I understand as much Swiss German as High German). That being the case, I've only had time to read a few books in English since I arrived here... I am starting to think about reading some history books in German, although I think that reading literature is better for vocabularly.

There is, in my opinion, a real lack of literature on Switzerland in English. In my city's public library in the US there was actually more on Liechtenstein available!
Sounds good. Actually try to read children's books first. Do you have friends to speak with ? How much longer are you planning to stay in CH ? What kind of jobs are you looking for ?

There isn't much history about CH anyway. It's just a bunch of mixted people that had enough of foreign rule. However looks like history treated us well. (for now)

By the way, weren't the "helvetians" considered "gauls" like the french ? That wouldn't make them germans right ?!Link
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  #125  
Old 26.01.2007, 15:17
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

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Sounds good. Actually try to read children's books first. Do you have friends to speak with ? How much longer are you planning to stay in CH ? What kind of jobs are you looking for ?
I don't actually have any Swiss friends here, but I always required a massive amount of time back in the United States to make any, so I do not blame the culture (of course others do, so maybe it is a double-wammy). My wife also basically has no friends, despite being Swiss. I've never understood that one. She was in the United States for a year and was suddenly one of the most popular people at her university there, constantly receiving invitations to go out. Now that we are back here, she has met three of her previous Swiss friends one time each! There are others with whom she has spoken to online, but have shown no interest in meeting up. In over 6 months... I find it disgusting! Not really friends by my definition. At Uni Züri she's actually only become friends with English-speaking expats / exchange students! I do not understand this one... She's 100 percent Swiss.

The small town I live in is very Swiss-German oriented, as are my in-laws (why shouldn't it / they be? I am in Switzerland!). They typically speak Swiss German with me, as I can understand it enough to get by or feign understanding.

To be honest, if I was not having problems I would remain in Switzerland for the remainder of my life, which was our original intention. I no longer have any desire to remain beyond learning German and starting with French. I think the opportunities that I have here are significant smaller than in the US.
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  #126  
Old 26.01.2007, 15:39
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

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I'm considering looking into a Ph.D program in European history in the US (otherwise law school). I am doing my darndest to learn German and become fluent while I'm here in Switzerland, although Swiss German is delaying it a lot (I understand as much Swiss German as High German). That being the case, I've only had time to read a few books in English since I arrived here... I am starting to think about reading some history books in German, although I think that reading literature is better for vocabularly.

There is, in my opinion, a real lack of literature on Switzerland in English. In my city's public library in the US there was actually more on Liechtenstein available!
So write a book!-I'll buy it. Tie it in to a Ph.d. thesis the History of Switzerland. Don't burn your bridges when you move back to the States. Have some fun go skiing/snowboarding suck in the Mountain air, have fune and see the incredible views. I know a mountain guide who will give you the experience of a lifetime. You need to remain global.
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  #127  
Old 26.01.2007, 15:48
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

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So write a book!-I'll buy it. Tie it in to a Ph.d. thesis the History of Switzerland. Don't burn your bridges when you move back to the States. Have some fun go skiing/snowboarding suck in the Mountain air, have fune and see the incredible views. I know a mountain guide who will give you the experience of a lifetime. You need to remain global.
I don't ski. I tried once in Vermont and it was rather disasterous. I'll just say I fell down backwards and nearly slammed into a condo building. Luckily I didn't break anything.
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  #128  
Old 02.03.2007, 16:58
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

Marignan was a battle that bled the country dry, 14000 Swiss were killed that day, doing their mercenary job of defending the Duchy of Milan from the French troops of Francois 1er. At the time, the Swiss mercenary were highly rated and thought as invicible, due to their tactics and discipline, so this was a shock (the last time Swiss or proto-Swiss(Helvetii) were beaten was by Julius Cear...

The country was on its knees, the strongest and most able men died and the only course of action left was to sign a treaty with the French, recognised up until 1792 when the Revolution happend. That day, the last troops that fought for the king of France where the Swiss mercenaries and they got massacred to the last man...

Switzerland has a violent and poor past, the rich and complacent country you know today was born after WW2.

There were less tensions during WW2 than during WW1 when the country nearly split up, mainly due to the fact that "Swiss identity" was non-existent, for a Zurich citizen, someone from Geneva was as alien as someone from Paris. The very concept of "Swiss identity" was invented by the Federal Govt before, during and after WW2 when it was indispensable to ensure that the whole country was on the same wavelength, they used intensively cinematic news shown at each movie theater to create a kinship between people, kids were sent to visit other parts of the countries and a whole Swiss mythology of unity was develloped and propaguanda was made to work. Nazi symphatisers were silenced very quickly (as well as anti-nazis...). The state of mind of the Swiss was that they had to carry on as normal, "work for the nazis during the day, pray for the allies at night" as someone said to sum this up.

For a clear picture of Switzerland role during WW2, the Bergier Commision work is peerless and as intensive, inquisitive and honest as it gets. Bergier and his team got a lot of flak from head-in-the-sand patriots and plenty of praise from Jewish organistations, it is a monumental piece of work.
My own personnal take on this is that Switzerland, surrounded by Axis powers, had no choice but to stick to its neutrality. Plans to invade the country were made by the Nazis but it was decided against. Swiss patriots like to think it's because of the army and detractors say it's solely down to the country dirty deals. It's both, it was a bit pointless for the Germans to invade a country with no ressources when it could be used to do business with the rest of the world (including the USA and the UK, believe it or not...BBC did an excellent documentary about this) and whose sole strategic asset was the Alpine roads and tunnels which were heavily guarded. The army strategy was du to abandon the cities in the lowlands whilst setting up guerrilla units and concentrate on protecting the Alps, full of bunkers, tunnels and very much a tough nut to crack even for Hitler's armies. Switzerland choose survival and to be lectured, 60 years after, by manicheans simpletons bemoaning that we did not choose "the forces of good" is quite irritating.

The whole "Recent history" is quite good on this site:
http://history-switzerland.geschicht....ch/index.html

The authors do have a bit of grudge against some US crusaders like Eisenstadt and its apparent flexible approach to factual accuracy (a US tradition it seems...ahem..sorry, could not help it) but not the point it influences their critical approach of our contry's role during WW2, there is praise and there is castigation.

I'll let someone who knows a thing or two about fighting a war against an abomination like the Nazis have the last word:

"Of all the neutrals Switzerland has the greatest right to distinction. She has been the sole international force linking the hideously-sundered nations and ourselves. What does it matter whether she has been able to give us the commercial advantages we desire or has given too many to the Germans, to keep herself alive? She has been a democratic State, standing for freedom in self defence among her mountains, and in thought, in spite of race, largely on our side."
Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965), British wartime Prime Minister
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  #129  
Old 05.03.2007, 11:33
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

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... The state of mind of the Swiss was that they had to carry on as normal, "work for the nazis during the day, pray for the allies at night" as someone said to sum this up.
...
...Switzerland choose survival and to be lectured, 60 years after, by manicheans simpletons bemoaning that we did not choose "the forces of good" is quite irritating.
...
I'll let someone who knows a thing or two about fighting a war against an abomination like the Nazis have the last word:

"Of all the neutrals Switzerland has the greatest right to distinction. She has been the sole international force linking the hideously-sundered nations and ourselves. What does it matter whether she has been able to give us the commercial advantages we desire or has given too many to the Germans, to keep herself alive? She has been a democratic State, standing for freedom in self defence among her mountains, and in thought, in spite of race, largely on our side."
Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965), British wartime Prime Minister
the above does not apply for the period from 1943 until the end of the war, where active Swiss involvement would not be so dangerous fo the Swiss and helpful to the allies.

What about the cold war then ? Switzerland was surrounded by Friendly countries, but chose to remain Neutral.
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  #130  
Old 05.03.2007, 12:04
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

The idea of neutrality is to stay neutral throughout, not jump on the winning bandwagon as soon as you can...Leave that to the Italians

Swizterland neutrality was very much appreciated by both sides during the Cold War, the country did a lot of messenger work for the USSR and the USA. There is very little doubt which side Switzerland favoured though, as a western democracy I doubt Communism was very high on the agenda of the Federal Council...
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  #131  
Old 05.03.2007, 14:46
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

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Swizterland neutrality was very much appreciated by both sides during the Cold War, the country did a lot of messenger work for the USSR and the USA.
Still is, CH now functions as negotiator/messenger boy for the US in Iran.

Quote:
There is very little doubt which side Switzerland favoured though, as a western democracy I doubt Communism was very high on the agenda of the Federal Council...
The KPS (Kommunistische Partei Schweiz) was/is 'verboten' in CH since 1940. Nuff said.

http://www.pda.ch/_geschichte/chronologie.php (in German)
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  #132  
Old 22.03.2007, 10:38
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

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Last time I checked my sentence that you partially quoted, I didn't claim that these three countries surrounded Switzerland. So I suggest you start with English.

Are you living and earning money here? If so, your stance is somewhat hypocrytical.
be very careful with the attacks. he might be your boss!!
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  #133  
Old 22.03.2007, 10:58
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

Hello, everybody!!!

I really like the toping you are tackling and I would love to take part of it! Well, I actually believe Swiss neutrality is not a problem for anyone. On the contrary it gives security and stability to all its inhabitants, especially from terror threats the rest of the world is experiencing!
I think the main problem is Switzerland out of the EU. Some say it is more convenient for a small country to stay out of it, but Austria, Benelux, Ireland, for example, are small countries as well and they have benefited from entering the Union. On the other hand, bilateral agreements and Bologna University Structure implemented in Switzerland, made this country a de-facto member of the Union, or at least something very close to it. That's my point of view. I will be glad to hear yours. bye!
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  #134  
Old 22.03.2007, 11:04
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

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Hello, everybody!!!

I really like the toping you are tackling and I would love to take part of it! Well, I actually believe Swiss neutrality is not a problem for anyone. On the contrary it gives security and stability to all its inhabitants, especially from terror threats the rest of the world is experiencing!
I think the main problem is Switzerland out of the EU. Some say it is more convenient for a small country to stay out of it, but Austria, Benelux, Ireland, for example, are small countries as well and they have benefited from entering the Union. On the other hand, bilateral agreements and Bologna University Structure implemented in Switzerland, made this country a de-facto member of the Union, or at least something very close to it. That's my point of view. I will be glad to hear yours. bye!
Hi alessione,

You are rather taking this old thread off topic. The EU is covered here:
Thoughts on European Union
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  #135  
Old 10.06.2007, 23:09
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

How can any country declare itself as neutral when it sells arms?
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  #136  
Old 10.06.2007, 23:34
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

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How can any country declare itself as neutral when it sells arms?
It is ready to sell to all potential buyers, except those under UN embargo? And it doesn't export banned weapons?

There are some Swiss citizens who disagree with the weapon exports, at the moment they're collecting the 100'000 signatures required for a popular vote to change the export laws: www.kriegsmaterial.ch
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