Parliament says yes to a memorial for Swiss victims of the Holocaust
The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad has been calling for a memorial to the Swiss victims of National Socialism for a long time. In the current spring session, the two motions submitted in 2021 were definitively adopted by both the Council of States and the National Council.
About a year ago, the important request of the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad reached both chambers of the Swiss Parliament. The identical motions submitted in March 2021 call on the Federal Council to "create an official Swiss memorial for the victims of National Socialism". This important political step was followed by the development of a concrete concept that combines a national memorial with an educational programme under the motto "remember, transmit and connect". For the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad, it is essential to create a future-oriented memorial that also addresses coming generations with an educational programme and makes a long-term contribution to human rights and against discrimination and racism.
The concept submitted to the Federal Council was quickly approved and the Federal Council recommended the acceptance of the motions. The Council of States also confirmed the creation of a memorial on 8 June 2021. In the current spring session, the motions were submitted to the second chambers. On 1 March 2022, the Council of States definitively adopted the motion, and on 10 March 2022, the adoption follows also in the National Council. This opens the door to the creation of a memorial and the conceptual work can be concretised. The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad is delighted that the motions have been approved and welcomes the next steps in their implementation.
More than 1,000 people with a connection to Switzerland experienced the horrors of the National Socialist concentration camps. But the memory is in danger of being forgotten because the number of contemporary witnesses who can tell of the atrocities of that time is decreasing. The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad has been calling for a memorial since 2018: In its view, the history of National Socialism is particularly important from a Swiss perspective, because numerous Swiss Abroad died in the Nazi concentration camps. Furthermore, the memorial is also intended to remind people of the actions of Swiss authorities and diplomats of the time, whose behaviour during the war years may seem strange from today's perspective.
Read more about the Memorial on the website.
Further background can be explored in the dossier of the "Swiss Review".
You can read more about the realisation of the project in our news :
- 23 March 2021: An important political step towards a memorial for Holocaust victims
- 25 May 2021: Memorial for Swiss Victims of National Socialism: Concept handed over to the Federal Council (German or French)
- 8 June 2021: The Council of States sends a strong signal in favour of a memorial for victims of National Socialism
On SWI swissinfo.ch you will find further articles on this topic.