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THE ALLIED VIEW OF SWITZERLAND

On the other side of the political divide, Switzerland could have easily been invaded by the allies. In the same manner in which Switzerland was not a match for the German army, it was even less of a match for the allied army. Yet, no invasion or even serious demands of cooperation ever happened. How come?

Because Switzerland, by not interfering with private affairs, was fertile ground for the operation of all kinds of intelligence gathering organizations by all belligerent forces from either side. Furthermore, it was also the ideal place to organize funding for such operations including resistance movements. Many banks played integral parts of such operations. Again, we have to remind our readers that in all these deals Switzerland broke no law. All these operations were sanctioned by governments and as such they were strictly legal. Switzerland had no other agreements with belligerent countries and hence no further obligations. As these organizations did not threaten nor broke Swiss law, there was no reason to stop them.

Many people are of the opinion that Switzerland, by allowing such German operations was "bad" however, for the Germans it was "good". Concomitantly, such operations from the US were "good" but for the Germans they were "bad".

THE SECRET SWISS ACCOUNTS

Many Nazi leaders did indeed collect large amounts of assets and they did deposit them in Swiss banks. Again, we need to recall that as these accounts were from actual Germany government officials and it was impossible for Swiss bankers to determine if these assets were indeed illegally obtained or simply officially plundered. How could they tell the difference?

Yet again we realize that these bankers did absolutely nothing illegal in opening these accounts which were protected under Swiss law.

THE ILLEGAL ACTS OF US

On or about 1941 the US froze all Swiss assets belonging to Swiss firms "suspected" of having deals with Germany. This was thoroughly illegal since by definition Switzerland was neutral. Yet the US unilaterally punished it in opposition to all international laws. Furthermore, the US did so with the express intent of curbing the so-called Swiss support of Nazi Germany, mostly through legal loans which were, well, legal!

In addition, the US signed several treaties to prevent the trading of so-called "looted" gold and also the return of looted state property to their original owners. This had an impact on Swiss gold operations which were again, legal!

In 1946 about 200 million of USD in gold bars were discovered in Nazi hands in Germany. However, there were still about 650 million USD missing from all the gold taken from Central Banks. The suspicion was that this gold was stored in Switzerland.

However, France and Great Britain needed credits to rebuild their destroyed countries, and so they were not too keen to pressure the Swiss. The US had no such compunctions. They "invited" the Swiss government to US and told them point blank that they were German supporters and that they needed to make amends. Such amends included all the German treasure, particularly Nazi gold in all their volts.

The Swiss position was quite simple: all their acts were legal (which indeed they were) and furthermore they were neutral (which indeed they were). However, in order to remove all further political pressure they signed an agreement (the Washington accord) thereby paying about 52 million USD in gold to the US, UK and France as "representatives" (ejem!) of everybody else (how convenient…). In exchange, all further national claims against Switzerland were dropped.

THE OTHER POINT OF VIEW
There is yet another point of view worth considering. The US had a secret operation code named Safe Heaven whose purpose was to track down Nazi treasure and return it to their original owners. This operation gather a fair amount of information about what ended up in Switzerland but because of the Washington accord, this information was never used to punish the Swiss. Essentially, they got away with murder.

Well… at least that's some idiot's opinion and as we know, everybody, no matter how stupid, is entitled to their own opinion.

As we have mentioned before throughout this article and almost at a nauseating point, Switzerland did nothing illegal in their trades and contracts with Nazi Germany. It is simply idiotic and mindboggling to believe that Swiss people should be punished just because they performed legal acts that other people i.e. non-Swiss people, did not like.

THE PERSONAL POINT OF VIEW

Then there is also the issue of dormant Swiss accounts belonging to German people who willingly opened them to protect their assets against Nazi seizures. Again, this was a purely voluntary act.

As many of these people were subsequently murdered by the Nazis, their heirs were unable to recover the assets. This is so because no documentation exists to actually prove that:

  • The original owner is dead.
  • The person claiming to be the heir can actually prove it.

The problem with this is that all the idiotic bleeding hearts out there believe that the Swiss are heartless bastards for acting in this manner. Well, no.

To begin with, the original owner willingly opened an account and accepted the contract. If the terms of the contract did not specify other arrangements, this is their fault and theirs only; it is not a Swiss banker's problem.

Secondly, if any Swiss banker would accept what these people demand, they would be immediately arrested by Swiss authorities for breaching a stack of Swiss bank secrecy laws and even criminal laws.

Thirdly, if any Swiss banker would to act in this manner, the bank would collapse overnight. Would you trust a bank that hands over assets to a person without any proof of ownership? Of course not!

There are processes in Switzerland to deal with these circumstances, official and legal processes. Sure, they take a long time and are difficult to fulfil, but what is the other option? In a country where the wellbeing of the population depends to a large degree of banking success, wouldn't you go to reasonably demanding lengths to ensure that banks operate in the strictest manner? Of course you would!

AND NOW THE CONCLUSION

As they used to say in the very old movies. Why did we drag you through all these old problems? You were probably not even born when these events took place. Why are they relevant today? Excellent question.

To begin with, no, we are not defending the Swiss, it only seems so. Each Swiss person involved in these affairs needs to determine by themselves, according to their very own principles how do they feel and what are they going to do about them, if anything.

We want to point out a different event, one that remains hidden most of the time: contractual arrangements.

Consider this.

During WWII Switzerland was in an extremely difficult position, having almost being invaded (and utterly destroyed) in two different occasions. Yet, it survived. How is this possible? Because they were neutral? Not a chance.

A declaration of neutrality and even neutral actions have usually no impact whatsoever when it comes time to face the ruthless power of a military might. Then what?

Simple.

The humble contract.

Throughout the whole of this historical period Switzerland continued to do whatever they could in order to prevent being destroyed. This much is true. However, they key element that made this possible is that they had something the Nazis wanted and the Nazis were willing to make a deal in order to get it.

In other words, voluntary agreements were the magic ingredient that prevented Switzerland from being destroyed.

This lesson is so important that it cannot be understated. You may remember our article Contracts Are The Key To Coexistence . This whole historical event proves this point quite elegantly.

Contracts enabled Switzerland to coexist with Nazi Germany and contracts allowed Swiss people not to be touched by the destructive force of WWII. Contracts protected Swiss people even after WWII ended when Switzerland had to face new world powers.

Why did contracts do so?

Simple.

In order to achieve your self-interest you need to intertwine it with somebody else's self-interest through a contract. However, in so doing you create a win-win situation that makes any other path not economically viable. It is precisely this fact that saved Switzerland and it is for this very reason that we repeat again: Contracts Are The Key To Coexistence .

CONCLUSION

Coexistence is not magic and no magic tricks are required. Just voluntary contracts. The Swiss learned this long time ago, however most people remain clueless. They prefer to believe in the power or righteousness of the law; just like Nazis did. Silly people.

Your choice is clear, you can trust the contracts that you create or you can trust laws (just like Germans did when they trusted Nazis). It's your choice.

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.

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