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Protests Mount Against Swiss Decision to Expel Refugees

The storm of protests against the decision of the Swiss Federal Government to expel from this country all refugees who entered illegally since August 11, seeking to escape deportation from France and Belgium into Nazi-occupied Eastern territory, reached a new peak today when more liberal Swiss newspapers joined in the warning that a surrender of the sacred Swiss tradition of asylum would weaken the Swiss will to resist Axis aggression.

Reporting that hundreds of hunted men and women, mainly from occupied France, have, during the last two weeks, been making the long and difficult journey on foot to the Swiss frontier and that many of them have been caught and shot by the Gestapo, the Basler Nachrichten editorially said today that if the Swiss Federal Council carries out its decision, “we will share in the guilt for the terrible fate of these people who have fled to our country.”

The Neue Argauer Zeitung pointed out that “we can let many more refugees into our country. Asylum is a sacred Swiss institution. We cannot escape our duty. If the authorities forget that giving up the right of asylum might also weaken our will to resist, we must remind the government that this is the case.”

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