As the world marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Sunday, Swiss television reported that Swiss officials knew in May 1942 that Jews were being exterminated in Nazi concentration camps, yet decided to tighten their asylum policies in the following months.
"As of May 1942, we can prove that information about the killings of Jews reached Bern," Sascha Zala, the head of the Diplomatic Documents of Switzerland (DDS) research project, told Swiss public broadcaster SRF, AFP reported.
Swiss diplomats gathered hundreds of letters, telegrams, pictures and detailed reports during World War II documenting the Nazi atrocities and passed them on to Swiss officials in Bern.
DDS has for the first time published a number of the documents showing that the Swiss government knew what was going on no later than May 1942, three years before the end of World War II.
Despite the reports it was receiving, the Swiss government decided in August of that year to carry out a mass return of civilian refugees to their home countries, SRF reported.
The revelations add more evidence to the conclusions of a damning official report in 2002 on Switzerland's record before and during World War II.