Switzerland

  • Swiss Get Jewish President Who is Proud of Her Heritage

    Switzerland will soon have a president who plans to speak out aggressively about her country’s role in World War II. Recently elected by the Swiss Parliament to assume the country’s presidency on Jan. 1, Ruth Dreifuss said she is “especially proud as a woman and of course also as a member of the Jewish community”… More ▸

  • As Swiss Face Anti-semitism, a Jew Takes Office As President

    A Jewish woman is scheduled to record a double first in Switzerland this week. Ruth Dreifuss is expected to become the first Jew — and the first woman — to be named president of Switzerland, where women only earned the right to vote in 1971. Dreifuss, who formally becomes head of state on Jan. 1,… More ▸

  • Former Swiss Bank Guard Gets Four-year Scholarship

    The Swiss security guard who prevented the shredding of vital Holocaust-era bank records has been awarded a full four-year scholarship at a private American university. During his studies at Chapman University in Southern California, Christoph Meili and his family will be supported by a group of Holocaust survivors and the Jewish community. Meili was making… More ▸

  • Swiss Panel Charges Politicians Made Anti-semitism ‘acceptable’

    The debate about Switzerland’s wartime dealings with the Nazis has fueled a wave of anti-Semitism in the Alpine nation, the country’s human rights watchdog panel said. The Federal Commission Against Racism said in a report issued Nov. 5 that “latent anti-Semitism is again being increasingly expressed in public by word and by deed.” The panel… More ▸

  • Swiss Anger with Israel Threatens Joint Conference

    Angry at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Swiss officials may cancel an economic conference aimed at improving bilateral business ties. Their anger was sparked by a letter the premier recently wrote to Edgar Bronfman in which he thanked the president of the World Jewish Congress for his efforts to get Swiss banks to pay Holocaust-era… More ▸

  • Swiss Bank Account Panel Under Pressure to Finish Work

    One month after Switzerland’s two largest banks agreed to pay $1.25 billion to settle Holocaust-era claims, a panel conducting a sweeping audit of Swiss banks is coming under pressure to wrap up its work. So far, auditors have discovered just over $50 million in dormant accounts belonging to Holocaust victims, but some sources say that… More ▸

  • How Survivors in United States Can Apply for Swiss Fund Payments

    Applications for payments from a Swiss humanitarian fund are now available for needy Holocaust survivors in the United States. Eligible individuals can receive application information by calling the special application processing center set up by the World Jewish Restitution Organization, which will be handling all claims in the United States with the assistance of the… More ▸

  • News Analysis: Swiss Settlement Adds Momentum to Holocaust-era Claims in Europe

    The $1.25 billion settlement agreed to by Switzerland’s leading banks has created a momentum that will likely lead to additional agreements to settle Holocaust-era claims against European companies and governments. In the wake of last week’s agreement, officials with the World Jewish Congress believe that the focus will now shift to several different fronts: European… More ▸

  • Timetable for Payments Uncertain After Swiss Settlement Agreement

    Estelle Sapir had mixed emotions. “My heart is very happy,” the 73-year-old Holocaust survivor said in a slight voice outside the Brooklyn federal courthouse where Switzerland’s leading commercial banks had just agreed to a $1.25 billion settlement of Holocaust-era claims. But at the same time, Sapir, who fled a Nazi death camp as a teen-ager,… More ▸