SwitzerlandFlash 90

The Swiss government has approved the creation of a memorial for the victims of Nazism.

Two parliamentary motions were submitted last year calling for Switzerland to build a national memorial for the victims of National Socialism.

According to the Swiss Federation of Jewish communities (SIG/FCSI), the Swiss Jewish community has supported the project since it was announced.

While Switzerland has 60 private memorial sites commemorating the Holocaust and Nazi crimes, there is not a national memorial.

The motion by National Councillor Alfred Heer was unanimously adopted in the Council of States on 1 March 2022, with the adoption of National Councillor Daniel Jositsch’s motion in the National Council on March 10.

The memorial will in part honor “courageous Swiss people” – such as Paul Grüninger and Carl and Gertrud Lutz-Fankhauser – who helped Jewish refugees at a time when thousands of Jews fleeing persecution were refused entry into Switzerland, with many deported.

In a statement, the Swiss government said that it was supporting the measure to create the monument.

A concept for the memorial was submitted to the government in May 2021, a creation of several groups including the Swiss Jewish Community, the Christian-Jewish Working Group and the Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Basel.

The conceptual proposal envisions three themes: remembering, communications and networking.

The public memorial will contain historical material on the Nazis and the Holocaust as well as a database of victims with links to other memorial sites and educational resources.