Switzerland Neutrality

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Switzerland’s neutrality during WWII was a controversial topic during the war and is still a topic of discussion today. Many countries had the opinion that Switzerland should aid the allies against Germany. This is incorrect because of the political, social and economic factors at play in Switzerland in the 1940s. The political factors are by far the most impactful evidence in why the Swiss people were justified in staying neutral during WWII. The first political aspect that needs to be brought to mind is the state of the Swiss citizen’s army. In an article in the New York Times, the fact that “the Swiss didn’t have a strong enough army to do anything to aid the Allies in their efforts” is brought to light (Cohen). Even if the Switzerland…show more content…
Neutrality has basically always been Switzerland’s status. They have been neutral since the Treaty of Paris in 1815. A historian who has studied this topic in-depth explains, “the neutrality of Switzerland was required because of the decisions that were made in the past and that neutrality was the only way that Switzerland could protect their people” (Television). This social decision of neutrality protected the standing of the country and was necessary for the country’s survival. In a submission from an educated historian the important factor that, “Switzerland repetitively made its neutrality” is pointed out. Switzerland had to stay neutral for the safety of the people. Along with neutrality, another social aspect was the relationships with the surrounding countries. If Switzerland had stopped all trading with Germany they would have been taken over without much work from the Germans. Churchill, in an address to Eden in 1944 said, “Of all the neutrals, Switzerland has the greatest right to distinction. She has been the sole international force linking the hideous-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 Germans to keep herself alive? She has been a democratic state, standing for freedom and self-defense among her mountains, and in thought, despite race, largely on our side.”(Wylie 1). Switzerland’s relationships with the surrounding countries were good and to continue in that pattern they had to remain neutral. One highly discussed topic of Switzerland’s social standing was their acceptance of Jews that had fled Germany. At the time, Switzerland had semi-strict refugee laws. This issue was balanced by the efforts that the Swiss people made to accommodate the Jews. An article addresses this topic by clarifying that, “even though the Swiss government taxed Jewish
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