The Holocaust-Era Assets Debate and Beyond
Towards the end of 1996, a heated discussion began on Switzerland’s role during the Second World War.1 Admittedly, at the beginning, the Swiss did not take this criticism seriously enough.2 Why did Switzerland underestimate the problem? It is probably fair to say that for us — as for many throughout the world — the tragedy of the Holocaust was history, was bygone. As to the financial issues, we considered that our ancestors had dealt with them after the war. Today, some of us may find comfort in the fact that other countries — some of which are much more concerned by the issue than Switzerland -have similarly underestimated the problem, in spite of the Swiss precedent.
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- 1.J. Rossier, ‘Switzerland, Gold and the Banks: Analysis of a Crisis’, Speech at the Harvard Faculty Club, 26 May 1999.Google Scholar
- 2.H.J. Bär, ‘Switzerland revisited — a case of managerial incompetence?’, Remarks on the occasion of the 1998 Global Forum on Management Education, Chicago, 13 June 1998.Google Scholar
- 4.Independent Committee of Eminent Persons (ICEP): ‘Report on Dormant Accounts of Victims of Nazi Persecution in Swiss Banks’, December 1999.Google Scholar
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