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Just how many refugees were there in Switzerland?

Following are some of the main refugee figures as listed by the Bergier commission in its report on Switzerland’s wartime record.

This content was published on December 10, 1999 - 10:39

Following are some of the main refugee figures as listed by the Bergier commission in its report on Switzerland’s wartime record.

- Between 19933 and 1945, Switzerland recognised and accepted 644 people as political refugees.

- The authorities allowed 51,129 civilian refugees into the country during the war years (19,495 of them were Jews and another 1,809 were persecuted because they were of Jewish origin).

- Switzerland accepted 103,869 military refugees and granted a four-week “recovery” vacation to 59,785 children.

- There is documentary evidence that 24,398 applications to enter Switzerland were rejected between January 1940 and May 1945.

- The real number of refugees turned back at the border cannot be fully established since some documents were destroyed and not all rejections were registered.

- From 1938 until November 1944, diplomatic and consular representatives abroad evaluated 24,100 applications to enter Switzerland; 9,600 of them were approved but 14,500 were turned down.

From staff member Beat Witschi.

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