Banking in Switzerland - Swiss Banks and World War II

Swiss Banks and World War II

Several inquiries have been made into the conduct of Swiss banks during the Nazi Germany period (1933–1945), especially regarding funds deposited by or allegedly stolen from victims of the Holocaust. The campaign causing the highest outlays (US$1.25 billion in 1999) on the part of the Swiss banking industry as of 2009 was the World Jewish Congress lawsuit against Swiss banks launched by Edgar Bronfman, president of the World Jewish Congress, in concert with US Senator Alfonse d'Amato of New York.

The audit run by the Volcker commission which resulted from this lawsuit cost CHF300 million and gave its final report in December 1999. It determined that the 1999 book value of all dormant accounts possibly belonging to victims of Nazi persecution that were unclaimed, closed by the Nazis, or closed by unknown persons was CHF95 million. Of this total, CHF24 million were "probably" related to victims of Nazi persecution. In addition the commission found "no proof of systematic destruction of records of victim accounts, organized discrimination against the accounts of victims of Nazi persecution, or concerted efforts to divert the funds of victims of Nazi persecution to improper purposes." It also "confirmed evidence of questionable and deceitful actions by some individual banks in the handling of accounts of victims".

In response to the lawsuit, the Swiss government commissioned an independent panel of international scholars known as the Bergier Commission to study the relationship between Switzerland and the Nazi regime. It reached similar conclusions about the banks' conduct in its final report, and found that trade with Nazi Germany did not significantly prolong the war.

Read more about this topic:  Banking In Switzerland

Famous quotes containing the words swiss, banks, world and/or war:

    You know there’s only two things more beautiful than a good gun—a Swiss watch or a woman from anywhere.
    Borden Chase [Frank Fowler] (1900–1971)

    The wide wonder of Broadway is disconsolate in the daytime; but gaudily glorious at night, with a milling crowd filling sidewalk and roadway, silent, going up, going down, between upstanding banks of brilliant lights, each building braided and embossed with glowing, many-coloured bulbs of man-rayed luminance. A glowing valley of the shadow of life. The strolling crowd went slowly by through the kinematically divine thoroughfare of New York.
    Sean O’Casey (1884–1964)

    It is a secret from nobody that the famous random event is most likely to arise from those parts of the world where the old adage “There is no alternative to victory” retains a high degree of plausibility.
    Hannah Arendt (1906–1975)

    The connection between dress and war is not far to seek; your finest clothes are those you wear as soldiers.
    Virginia Woolf (1882–1941)