Switzerland

Nicolas de Torrenté

Head of the Swiss Delegation to the IHRA

Member country since: 2004

Remembrance Days: 27 January (International Holocaust Remembrance Day)


Bernard Wicht (Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education) – Deputy Head of Delegation

Sabina Brändli (Zurich University of Teacher Education) –  Education Working Group

Daniel Gerson (Institute for Jewish Studies, University of Bern) – Academic Working Group

Stéphane Laederich (Executive Director of the Rroma Foundation) – Education Working Group

Gregor Spuhler (Archives for Contemporary History, ETH Zurich) – Museums and Memorials Working Group


Switzerland has established a national IHRA advisory group since 2004, bringing together representatives from teachers’ associations, Jewish, Sinti and Roma organizations, governmental departments and academia. The underlying idea was to promote the implementation of the Stockholm Declaration and the goals of the IHRA in civil society. This combined top-down/ bottom-up approach turned out to be particularly successful in a multilingual and federalist country. Teamwork and diversity are Switzerland’s strengths. 

Latest News

On 4 June 2021, the Swiss Federal Council adopted the Report about the Working Definition of Antisemitism Developed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) (in German, Executive Summary in English).

The Federal Council's report was based on the Evaluation Report on Federal, Cantonal, and Communal Measures to Combat Antsemitism (in German, September 2020) and this legal analysis of the IHRA working definition (in English, November 2020). It was prepared by a working group led by the Federal Department of Home Affairs (Service for Combating Racism), in consultation with the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP) and other experts.

More information can be found in this press release (in English, German, French, Italian).

An overview of all reports can be found on this page.

Further information

Dossier Tag des Gedenkens an den Holocaust und der Verhütung von Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit

Dossier Journée de la Mémoire de l’Holocauste et de la prévention des crimes contre l’humanité

Dossier Giornata della Memoria dell’Olocausto e della prevenzione dei crimini contro l'umanità

Politorbis: Magazine on Swiss foreign policy

Politorbis Nr. 47: Genocide Prevention

Politorbis Nr. 50: Dealing with the Past

Politorbis Nr. 68: Preventing atrocities; towards new paradigms?

Until 2020

Swiss Country Report

Reports on Switzerland's IHRA Chairmanship

Independent Commission of Experts Switzerland – Second World War (ICE)

The Commission was established in December 1996 by a unanimously approved resolution of the Swiss federal assembly (parliament). Its mandate is to investigate the volume and fate of assets moved to Switzerland before, during and immediately after the Second World War from a historical and legal point of view, and to present a final report by the end of the year 2001 at the latest.

On 19 December 2001, the mandate of the ICE ended and the Commission was dissolved. On 22 March 2002 the final report as well as the last seven studies and research contributions were presented to the public.

Comprehensive mandate

The Commission's mandate covers the gold trading and foreign currency transactions conducted by the Swiss National Bank and by private commercial banks. The objects of the investigation are all assets moved to Switzerland including insurable values and cultural assets, both of the victims of the Nazi regime as well as of its perpetrators and collaborators. The relations of Swiss industrial and commercial companies with the National-Socialist economy – especially regarding their involvement in "aryanization measures" and the exploitation of forced labourers – are also examined. Another key topic is Swiss refuge policy in connection with Switzerland's economic and financial relations with the Axis powers and the Allies. The study also includes the post-war period including government measures for the return of unlawfully acquired assets (Washington Accord 1946, Resolution the reporting of dormant accounts 1962).

Related News

Teaching about the Holocaust Special issue of Didactica Historica. Swiss Journal for History Education

As the last witnesses of the Holocaust disappear and the time gap between the Second World War and students' present widens, what are the resources, practices and experiences that make sense for the...

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Educational App: “Fleeing the Holocaust. My encounter with refugees."

The app “Fliehen vor dem Holocaust. Meine Begegnung mit Geflüchteten” (Fleeing the Holocaust. My encounter with refugees) was launched on 8 May 2018 and is available for free download under http://www...

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International Holocaust Remembrance Day

A Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust and for the Prevention of Crimes against Humanity

Every year since 2004, IDES [the Information and Documentation Center] of The Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education compiles a dossier for the "Day of Remembrance" to provide useful...

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Bern Ceremony

International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2019
 
 Monday, the 28th of January 2019, 17:00
 Yehudi Menuhin Forum, Helvetiaplatz 6, Bern
 
 Schedule:
 
 
 Prayer “El Maleh Rahamim” by Rabbi Michael Kohn...

More

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