neutral countries ww2

Hitler's unwillingness to agree -- he didn't want to alienate Vichy France and lose its resources, including the French fleet -- strongly motivated Franco's ultimate decision not to allow the Spanish armed forces to fight for the Axis. He used that approval to obtain financial profit. Therefore, it does make a perfectly good sense for those countries that actively participated in WW2 on the side of the Allies, to take a great pride in having contributed towards the … "6 The tradition of Swiss asylum, then, was effectively undermined during this period.7, Switzerland did not guard its borders solely to placate the Germans: many individual Swiss citizens happened to harbor racist and xenophobic sentiments.8 Although the Swiss Nazi movement was quite small -- it numbered only a few thousand -- and the party was even temporarily banned in 1936 to prevent disturbances after the assassination of Landesgruppenleiter Wilhelm Gustloff by a Jewish student, many Swiss were quite sympathetic to the racial agenda of the National Socialists. "30 Spain, then, contributed significantly to the German war effort, at least up to the autumn of 1942, when the Allies' military campaign in North Africa induced Franco to adopt a more cautious policy.31 However, economic relations between Spain and Germany continued until the end of the war.

The Swiss authorities intervened on occasion to prevent business dealings which they knew or suspected to be unlawful. To comprehend the magnitude of this "taint," it is necessary both to understand Switzerland's degree of involvement in Nazi crimes, and to place that involvement in the context of the wartime behavior of the other three "neutrals. Below is a list of the countries that fought in the war and the side they were on. In the case of Portugal, over 10,000 men were sent to battle the Germans in Northern France under the banner of Great Britain. Some of these countries had large colonies abroad, or had great economic power. Göring's art dealer, Walter Andreas Hofer, for example, was denied an entry visa in May 1944 (the grounds were not specified -- only that "entrance cannot be granted in view of the present circumstances"33). S. Lane Faison, Consolidated Interrogation Report No. See also the histories of Afghanistan, Andorra, Guatemala, Liechtenstein, Saudi Arabia and Yemen during this period. Prior to the World Wars, Sweden formulated a new foreign policy called The Policy of 1812 which declared the country “non-belligerent.” Consequently, Sweden took a neutral position during the World War II which meant it would support neither the Axis Powers nor the Allied Powers. It is time for Switzerland, Sweden, Portugal and Spain to acknowledge that there were no truly neutral countries on the European continent during World War II. Note that Häsler, despite a critical portrayal of Swiss immigration policies, cites a figure of 28,500 Jews who were given sanctuary, a number somewhat higher than that published in the New York Times above, in note 3. 1989. Belgium and the Netherlands rightly feared invasion once the Western Front opened up.

Despite the apparent precision of these legal terms, neutrality for Switzerland during World War II, as well as for the other continental European countries that claimed neutral status during that period -- Portugal, Sweden, Spain, and the Vatican -- can best be summed up by the phrase, self-interested noncombatant.

Switzerland maintained its neutrality so as to protect its own banking interests from plunder by the Axis.

As in the First World War, German troops invaded the Low Countries to outflank the French. But living just north of Germany and vastly outnumbered in terms of men and military might, they were in no position to offer real resistance.

Neutrality, when practiced by nations, is not always neutral. 30.

"2 From a late-twentieth century perspective, these nations can be seen to have occupied a gray area on the continuum between black complicity with the Third Reich and white resistance to the Nazi regime. Ibid. It should also be noted that during the latter part of the war, the Allies channeled pilots and soldiers rescued from the Nazis through Spain.

"23), However, when it came to trade with the Nazi regime, the Swedes, for a period of time, accommodated themselves to the Reich to an even greater extent than the Swiss did. 35.

22. Portugal is geographically farther from Germany than are Switzerland and Sweden, but the country and its colonies were still very vulnerable to pressure from the Reich. Portuguese citizens, on the other hand, made substantial donations to a Spitfire Fund to help support Britain’s Royal Air Force, an embarrassing situation for the government. Thomas Sancton, "A Painful History," Time (February 24, 1997), 41. Paintings belonging to the dealer Paul Rosenberg, as well as to such prominent families as the Rothschilds, Levy-Benzions, Kanns, and Lindenbaums, were traded to Swiss dealers for more ideologically acceptable old masters and German nineteenth-century paintings. Werner Rings, Life with the Enemy: Collaboration and Resistance in Hitler's Europe, 1939-1945 (Doubleday, 1982), 174.

Thomas Borer, "Opening Remarks of Ambassador Thomas Borer Before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services" (December 11, 1996). This sense of themselves helps explain why the Swiss have been so stung by the recent denunciations aimed at their country's wartime and postwar activities (criticism involving the latter revolves around the reluctance of Swiss financial institutions to return the assets of Holocaust victims to heirs). The reason for which this occurred was twofold.
Thomas Sancton, "A Painful History," Time (February 24, 1997), 41. Ireland Portugal Spain (Could be argued to be a supporter of the Axis) Sweden (except during the Winter War) Switzerland. Switzerland famously profited from the war, thanks to Nazis depositing the art and gold of looted Europe in its banks. In 1962 Laos was a neutral country (guaranteed by 14 countries, including the USA, Soviet Union, France and the UK) until the treaty was violated by the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Indeed, the Swiss are tainted not just by their collaboration with the Reich, but by their postwar failure to confront a problematic past.

Sweden's crowning achievement, as just noted, was to permit nearly 8,000 Jewish refugees to enter in 1943, and then to protect them. (Cambridge U.P., 1976), 40. The immorality of Swiss trade policies with respect to Germany can, perhaps, best be seen in the way the two nations collaborated together to traffic in works of art. De Valera refrained from joining either the Allies or Axis powers.

Having said that, however, there has never been any lack of idealism in the land of the Red Cross, the Geneva Conventions, and of the European headquarters of the United Nations. 4. However, Portugal continued trading with countries from both sides of the conflict throughout the war. There lies in our national character a strong preference for realism over fantasy, for compromise rather than ideology. However, Portugal, Sweden, and Switzerland all helped the Allied Powers by supplying "voluntary" brigades to Great Britain, while Spain avoided the Allies in favor of the Axis. These were the only 10 countries that were able to remain neutral throughout World War I. Switzerland and Sweden. At the Lucerne auction of June 1939, the institution's director, Georg Schmidt, purchased eight works banished from German museums.14 Showing support for this sordid Nazi venture, and profiting from it, evinced a certain mindset.

Moreover, the authoritarian Portuguese dictator, António de Oliveira Salazar, was sympathetic to the Axis powers (especially after siding with Franco in the Spanish Civil War).

Despite a concerted effort on the part of Hitler (most noticeably in a meeting between the two dictators and various ministers in October 1940) to persuade Franco to provide full-scale military support to the Axis side, the Spanish dictator refused to do so. In the wake of the historic Abraham Accord between Israel and the UAE facilitated by Washington, ADL and the Jewish Council of the Emirates announced plans to explore cooperation and consultations.

Lets start with Switzerland who as you can see are in the middle of everything. World War 2 Timeline, Accessed on November 21, 2013.

The basic international law covering neutral territories is the Second Hague Convention. Ibid.

The Kunstmuseum Basel, for example, took advantage of the favorable deals engendered by the Nazis' sale of state-owned modern art.


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