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Swiss heroes of the Holocaust remembered

Meir Wagner's book remembers the Swiss who helped Jews escape the horror of Nazi death camps

(Keystone Archive)

A book about Swiss who saved the lives of Jews during the Holocaust has been translated into English. "The Righteous of Switzerland - Heroes of the Holocaust" was presented at a special ceremony in Washington.

The release of "The Righteous of Switzerland - Heroes of the Holocaust" comes in the same week that Swiss banks released a third list of dormant accounts which may have belonged to Holocaust victims.

The book, a translation of Meir Wagner's "Die Gerechten der Schweiz", reveals a different side of Switzerland than that which has been portrayed during the controversy over Holocaust-era assets.

The book looks at the lives of 30 Swiss who rescued Jews from the Nazis. They have also been honoured at the Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem, in Jerusalem.

The book was presented to the public at the Institute of World Politics in Washington at a ceremony organised by the institute's director, John Lenczowski, and the Swiss ambassador to the United States, Alfred Defago.

Also attending were the former vice-presidential nominee, Senator Joseph Liebermann, and the former secretary of state, Stuart Eizenstat, who played an active role in the negotiations between Swiss banks and Jewish organisations.

The guest of honour was the author, who spent much of the Second World War in a concentration camp in Ukraine with his family. He said he wrote the book because he did not want the courageous actions of the Swiss to be forgotten.

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