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Switzerland

  • Swiss Visit to Hungary Goes Sour As President Clashes with Local Jews

    Disputes over a yarmulke and a Righteous Gentile have soured relations between the outgoing president of Switzerland and Hungary’s Jewish community. On a state visit to Hungary in December, problems began for then-President Moritz Leuenberger — who became transport minister on Jan. 1 under Switzerland’s system of rotating the presidency among its Cabinet members —… More ▸

  • Campaign to Allow Ritual Slaughter Prompts Swiss Anti-semitic Backlash

    The Swiss government has launched a campaign to end a century-old law barring Jewish ritual slaughter. Launched by Economics Minister Pasqual Couchepin, the campaign has created a heated outcry against any lessening of the prohibition. It also prompted fears of a widespread anti-Semitic backlash in a country that has experienced such backlashes in recent years,… More ▸

  • Deadline Approaches for Claims on Dormant Swiss Bank Accounts

    Holocaust survivors or their heirs who believe they have a valid claim on a dormant Swiss bank account dating back to the Holocaust era have until next week to file claims. In February, Swiss banks published the names on 21,000 accounts that may have belonged to Holocaust victims. At the time, they imposed a six-month… More ▸

  • Swiss Whistle-blower Claims Poverty After He’s Asked to Support His Mom

    A former security guard who prevented the shredding of vital Holocaust-era bank records four years ago now claims he is going broke. In an interview with the Swiss news magazine Facts, Christoph Meili described his financial situation as dire. “I have not yet received a single dollar” of the $1 million he says he was… More ▸

  • Swiss Jews Fearful After Killing, Increase in Harassment on Streets

    The release of a suspect in the recent slaying of a rabbi here comes as a Swiss Jewish leader is calling on observant Jews to take secure routes to synagogues. The call made by Max Besserman, chief of security for Zurich’s Orthodox community, came after police released the 30-year-old suspect, saying they had little evidence… More ▸

  • Murder of a Visiting Israeli Rabbi Leaves Swiss Jews Angry, Scared

    Switzerland’s Jewish community reacted with shock and fear after a 71-year-old rabbi visiting from Israel was gunned down on the streets here. Swiss investigators said they believe anti-Semitism or a political motive was behind the June 7 shooting death of Rabbi Abraham Greenbaum. They said robbery was an unlikely motive because the killer did not… More ▸

  • Swiss Banks Publish Names, Hope to End Restitution Saga

    The latest chapter of the saga of Swiss banks and Holocaust survivors reflects a compromise aimed at bringing the story to a close. Four years after publishing initial lists of dormant accounts that may have belonged to Holocaust victims, Swiss banks announced Monday that they had published the names on an additional 21,000 accounts. The… More ▸

  • Swiss Extradite Suspect Linked to Argentine Bombing

    Switzerland has extradited to Argentina a man accused of giving false evidence in connection with the 1994 car bombing of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. Two Argentine police officers accompanied the accused, Wilson Roberto Dos Santos, on a flight out of Zurich late last Friday, Swiss authorities said. Dos Santos, a Brazilian citizen,… More ▸

  • Holocaust Survivors, Heirs to Get Most of Swiss Settlement

    Jewish organizations looking for a piece of a historic $1.25 billion Swiss bank settlement are likely to be disappointed. Instead, payments from the fund are likely to go solely to Holocaust survivors or their heirs, according to a document submitted to a U.S. court overseeing the settlement. The distribution plan delivered to the court this… More ▸

  • Swiss Suspend Sentence of Spy, Ending Bungled Mossad Scandal

    The conviction and suspended sentence of an Israeli spy appears to have ended a scandal that strained Israeli-Swiss relations. But after the trial, a Swiss lawmaker charged that the wrong man may have been tried in the botched 1998 wiretapping. After the Swiss Federal Court convicted a man known as Isaac Bental, the name the… More ▸