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8 Nazis Go on Trial for Plot to Nazify Switzerland

Eight Nazis went on trial here today on charges of plotting to nazify Switzerland, treason and espionage within the country’s borders.

First to take the stand was Dr. Alfred Zander, self styled Swiss “Fuehrer,” who denied that his Nazi society of “Faithful Confederates” had acted on behalf of Germany. The authorities charge that the organization was formed last year to provide Swiss national defense and other information to the Reich, to which Zander made frequent trips.

Rebuked by Judge M. Strebel for refusing to realize the “deadly consequences” of his activities, Zander replied: “The first struggles of an ideology are always misunderstood. It was up to us to correct such misunderstandings. The revolution I was preparing was an intellectual, and not a bloody one, in conformity with the German pattern.”

Zander freely admitted that he and his followers had adopted tactics closely similar to those of the Nazi party in Germany and other countries. A co-defendant, Alfred Nikles, said the organization had spied on the French, British and other consulates to check the identity of visitors. Nikles assertedly served as Zander’s bodyguard.

Zander parried all attempts to establish the source of the funds which covered the organization’s monthly deficit of 1,500 Swiss Francs (about $330). He insisted that all contributions came from Swiss nationals. The prosecution claimed there were only 176 “Faithful Confederates” in all Switzerland, instead of the 400 claimed by the organization.

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