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Pro-German general War widens cultural divide in Switzerland

The First World War heightened existing antagonisms between German and French speakers in Switzerland, who tended to support different sides in the conflict. (RTS Geopolitis/

The French-speaking part of the country was pro-Allied Powers and angry that the federal government had not protested the 1914 German violation of Belgian neutrality.

Switzerland was bound to Germany culturally and economically, and many high-ranking military and civilian leaders, including General Ulrich Wille, head of the Swiss armed forces, openly sympathised with the German cause. 

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