A brilliant, well written book that completely blows a hole in the ludicrous concept of Swiss 'neutrality'.
How could a country sharing a land border with Nazi Germany have avoided invasion, whilst the rest of Europe was being overrun? Read this book & find out.
The actions of the Swiss banks & insurance companies exposed by Bower are completely beyond my comprehension of morality.
Whilst the British lost an entire generation on the battlefield, sacrificed a once great economy & ran up huge debts that crippled the nation for the next 70+years in order to rid Europe of Nazism, the Swiss saw only an opportunity to enrich themselves from the misery of millions!
Make no mistake: without the financial services provided to the Third Reich by the Swiss, the war would have been brought to an end far sooner, without the associated loss of many thousands of additional lives.
The obfuscation & lack of contrition from the Swiss after the end of the war demonstrates just how vile, self-serving & greedy they really are.
The apparent unwillingness of the Allies to take any real action against the Swiss after the war is a mystery that would warrant further investigation.
Bower, unfairly in my opinion, singles out the British for criticism whilst painting the Americans as crusading heroes (& in fact describes them as 'crusaders' throughout).
However the situation appears to have been considerably more nuanced: There are numerous examples within the book itself of questionable actions by various elements within the US (e.g. the Dulles brothers, Daniel Reagan) that undoubtedly aided the Swiss & impeded restitution.
The British by contrast appear to have been primarily guilty of a lack of action (rather than proactively meddling on behalf of the Swiss, like the Americans listed above), which was no doubt a consequence of war weariness & bankruptcy.
By contrast, war weariness certainly hadn't affected Bower's American 'crusaders', most of whom appear to have spent the war 'flying a desk' in the safety of the USA!!!
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I worked for Munich Re, London in 1992. Basically about Roosevelt's Safehaven policy towards end of WWII. This is Tom Bower's best book I've read & I'd love to speak to him about it! Caflisch was on my secretarial course - the certificates for which I have never received from the college as my mother had booked a villa in the South of France for 2 months the day we broke up (& my "friend" told me my results when I got back which I've never worried about till this year always bearing in mind that Leon Brittan told me to refer anyone who was asking questions about me ie agencies/interviewers etc to get in touch with him which I've never had occasion to do!)
This isn't the type of book I normally go for but I got it because Tom Bower is one of my favourite authors. The book is shocking in what it reveals and I was engrossed from beginning to end. This is a story everyone should know about and I even propose a film be made about it, raising awareness to a wider audience. Tom's writing is brilliant as ever. Get this for Christmas!
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