Date of Award


Thesis Date


Degree Type

Honors Thesis-Unrestricted

Degree Name




Degree Program



Gunter Bischof


After World War II, every country that had been touched by or involved in the war had to come to terms with its past. In the case of Switzerland, the Swiss government, the army and some of the country’s leadership established a strong official historical memory of the war, portraying Switzerland as a neutral, benevolent and well-fortified country that remained innocent and untouched by the war.

From the 1960s onwards, Swiss artists and intellectuals challenged these myths by presenting alternative views of the Swiss past in their work. Beginning in the 1970s, Swiss historians published an increasing amount of scholarly research concerning Switzerland’s World War II past, and challenging the official historical memory promoted by the government.

In the 1990s, after the discovery of thousands of dormant Swiss bank accounts containing Holocaust assets, Switzerland was forced to adopt a more realistic memory of its involvement in World War II. An Independent Commission of Experts, established by the Swiss government, conducted thorough research about Switzerland’s wartime involvement and published its Final Report in 2002.


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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.