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    Walter M. Diggelmann’s Die Hinterlassenschaft and the landscape of Swiss ‘Vergangenheitsbewältigung’

    Heffernan, Valerie (2007) Walter M. Diggelmann’s Die Hinterlassenschaft and the landscape of Swiss ‘Vergangenheitsbewältigung’. In: From the Margins to the Centre: Irish Germanists on Swiss Culture and Literature. Peter Lang AG, pp. 265-282. ISBN 978-3-0391--716-2

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    In the last ten years, Switzerland has undergone a very public process of critical reassessment of its involvement in the Second World War. Until 1996, Switzerland enjoyed a reputation abroad as a neutral country with a strong humanitarian tradition, ‘a democratic State, standing for freedom in self-defence among her mountains’, as Churchill once described it. However, this heroic image of Switzerland was destabilized in the mid 1990s by allegations from abroad that Swiss banks and financial institutions had aided the Nazis in economic affairs during the war. In December 1996, the Unabhängige Experten-kommission, headed by the eminent Swiss historian Jean-François Bergier, was appointed to undertake a thorough examination of Switzerland’s role in European affairs during the Second World War. The publication of the Bergier Commission’s Final Report in March 2002 finally brought into the public domain what Swiss intellectuals and historians had asserted for years, namely that for the duration of the war, Switzerland accommodated and supported the perpetrators in important, mostly financial ways. The report, which had taken eleven historians more than five years to complete, represents a landmark in terms of both Swiss historiography of the Second World War and public engagement with the recent past.

    Item Type: Book Section
    Keywords: Walter M. Diggelmann; Die Hinterlassenschaft; landscape of Swiss ‘Vergangenheitsbewältigung’;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures > German
    Item ID: 4257
    Depositing User: Valerie Heffernan
    Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2013 10:27
    Publisher: Peter Lang AG
    Refereed: Yes
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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