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  • Hungarian survivors to receive next round of Swiss payments

    BERN, Dec. 22 (JTA) — Some 20,000 Hungarian Holocaust survivors will soon receive checks from a Swiss fund for needy survivors. The checks, which come in the wake of a similar payment last month to Latvian survivors, will total $400 each, according to officials involved with the payments. The payments will be distributed in January,…

  • Israeli envoy visits Swiss village that gave sanctuary from Nazis

    ZURICH, Dec. 9 (JTA) — For many, Switzerland’s behavior during the war has become synonymous with laundering Nazi gold and hoarding dormant bank accounts. But wartime Switzerland means something different to Israel’s new ambassador to the Alpine nation. Yitzhak Mayer was a 9-year-old fugitive from occupied France when he arrived in the Swiss town of…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Zionism centennial celebration explores current controversies

    BASEL, Sept. 2 (JTA) — They came to celebrate 100 years of Zionism, but found themselves confronting present-day controversies. The ceremonies here marking the centennial of the First Zionist Congress focused, as all expected, on what was achieved 100 years ago. But leading figures at the commemorations, which drew 1,500 attendees from around the world,…

  • Plea for unity made in Basel

    BASEL, Switzerland, Aug. 27 (JTA) — Jewish unity was the theme 100 years ago when Jewish delegates convened here to adopt a unified call for a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Unity was again a theme this week at ceremonies marking the centennial of the First Zionist Congress. Avraham Burg, chairman of the Jewish Agency for…

  • Swiss legislators remove hurdle to central bank’s donation to fund

    BERN, Aug. 26 (JTA) — The Swiss Parliament’s Legal Committee has determined that the Swiss National Bank does not need parliamentary approval to contribute $70 million to a fund for Holocaust survivors. The 12-5 decision Monday countered the bank’s long-standing position that such approval would be necessary. The committee’s vote “creates a new situation,” said…

  • Senior U.S. official urges Swiss to augment fund for survivors

    ZURICH, Aug. 20 (JTA) — A senior U.S. official has called on Swiss banks and businesses to increase the size of a Swiss fund established earlier this year to help needy Holocaust survivors. U.S. Undersecretary of State for Economic Affairs Stuart Eizenstat, in an interview this week on Swiss Television, praised the efforts already made…

  • Wife of fired bank guard visits home in Switzerland

    ZURICH, Aug. 18 (JTA) — The wife of a former Swiss bank guard who made headlines earlier this year when he rescued Holocaust-era documents from the shredder returned to her home near here this week to collect her belongings. Giuseppina Meili’s return to Switzerland was anything but a happy homecoming, according to New York attorney…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Swiss bash for Zionism’s 100th clouded by confusion, disarray

    BASEL, Switzerland, Aug. 18 (JTA) — The Swiss are throwing a 100th birthday bash for Zionism, but the party atmosphere appears likely to be muted by anguish over the host’s wartime history and poor promotion. Unusually heavy security surrounding the event are also likely to mar the festivities by underscoring the recent rise in anti-Semitic…

  • Swiss Jews get death threats amid continuing anti-Semitism

    ZURICH, Aug. 6 (JTA) — Already plagued by a rash of anti-Semitic incidents, Switzerland now has several more to contend with. Several Jewish leaders were placed under police protection over the weekend after receiving death threats in the mail. Among those receiving the threats was Sigi Feigel, honorary president of the Jewish community of Zurich,…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Rising anti-Semitism casts shadow over publication of Swiss accounts

    ZURICH, July 23 (JTA) — Concerns about rising anti-Semitism in Switzerland have cast a pall over the much-publicized release of the names on dormant accounts from the Nazi era. “Keep your money. The lists published today are not important if the 18,000-member Jewish minority of this country should suffer from anti-Semitism,” Israel Singer, the secretary-general…