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Chroniques politiques et culturelles (CP) - 06 JAN 1943 - Anglais
     [CP-1943-00-06-EN]


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Aperçu rapide de l'OCR:
SWITZERLAND'S NEW SITUATION
As was just explained in our Spotlight, Switzerland finds herself today in
one of the most peculiar situations of her long history. From a certain viewpoint,
she is surrounded by one power only. From another viewpoint, she is surrounded,
among others, by three defeated powers: Austria, France and Italy. Under these
circumstances Switzerland has remained true to her traditional rôle of guardian
of the Alpine passes. Recently, she has sent, in fact, a considerable number of
troops to defend them. Switzerland knows well that the present state of things
cannot last for ever. She foresaw the breakdown of the Axis, and as a democracy
she feels that without the consent of the peoples, occupation can be only temporary,
even if this "temporary" may drag out to some length, as has been the case
Of course, Switzerland had great hopes that with the surrender of Italy a
way would be opened rapidly to the seas and the magera"powers. The fact that
railroad transit traffic ceased immediately was not perplexing, for a great crop,
especially a fruit crop, will have to be distributed in Switzerland and our entire
railway capacity can be put to good use for this. And when it comes to sea transport
we are not without hope either, even though fighting will be going on in
Italy for several months to come. The nations have got used to planning only little
ahead. Were Switzerland to look only to her neighbors, she could, at this present
moment, nearly despair, for, in the lands where there is not an anti-democratic
régime, there is anarchy, as in Italy. A country which entertains such extensive
cultural relations with the rest of Europe as does Switzerland, could not remain
untouched for any length of time by this state of affairs. But the collapse of
the French Republic has taught the Swiss to count on their own pswax strength. In
fact, we have been forced to adapt ourselves to a certain autarchy in the spiritual
In spite of this temporary encirclement, Switzerland is in no way pessimistic.
She has noticed - or believes she has - that in the course of the past four years
of war the whola,warring world has found increased understanding for her more than
correct neutrality. Whenever the attitude of Switzerland has been criticized or
attacked, as was the case in the widely considered letter of Lord Davies, which
appeared in the London Times, distinguished defenders of the Swiss viewpoint were
found right away. AncKall the peoples at war have asked that their interests be
represented by our little country. The International Red Cross, which these days
is again appealing to the generosity of the Swiss people and is showing, by means
of large posters,picturing the wounded, the prisoners and the hungering masses,
the nobility of its mission, stands far above the hostile sentiments of the day;
and its influence is incontestable.
Our neutrality is armed neutrality; and it can be said now that after four
years of war the Swiss army, with its modern equipment and its good training,
is ready, in its great ana majorlty-al least, for the most difficult of mountain
wars. This all -out training has caused quite a few casualties lately. In reply
to a parliamentary request, the Federal Council has found that these accidents
must be traced back to hard training and more complicated weapons. The use of
flame-throwers, for instance, and the crossing of rivers and high mountain exercises,
all must be held responsible.,These manoeuvers have to be adapted as much as
possible to reality.
The fact that the battlefronts are approaching the Swiss borders will probably
have some influence on parliamentary elections. Party disputes have become less
important and less violent. But this will be welcomed by the majority of the people.
Political differences here nefer are relative to questions of principle, but
merely to technical, social and political matters. All the parties are for neutrality,
democracy, liberty and independence.
Hermann B8schenstein.
v.1.09