Telling a happier Swiss story about the Holocaust
Guess who was responsible for the largest rescue operation of Jews in the Second World War. No, it wasn't Oskar Schindler. It was Carl Lutz, the Swiss vice-consul in Budapest who saved over 60,000 Hungarian Jews.
He was criticized for exceeding his authority and not rehabilitated until 1958 just one of the shameful stories about Swiss authorities' treatment of Jews (including suggesting the Star of David symbol in Jewish passports).
It's worth remembering, when Switzerland this year presides over the Alliance for the Memory of the Holocaust, for the first time.
UN News has highighted Swiss Holocaust survivors, now all in their 70s and beyond, among its top five stories of 2018. "Switzerland — which now presides over the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance that unites governments and experts to strengthen and promote Holocaust education and remembrance globally — sponsored the exhibition on survivors at United Nations Headquarters in New York. Portraits of Holocaust Survivors tells the stories of individuals who are among the last survivors and how they carried on with their lives.
A decent gesture, and the testimony of these survivors is harrowing. But it would have been better if authorities had told a more complete story about one of Switzerland's darkest hours while courageous individuals defied the government to help save Jews from also certain death.