History tells us, however, there is another story.
In 1940, hundreds of Switzerland's leading politicians and businessmen were petitioning the government to show greater sympathy toward the Nazis. They might have wanted to remain neutral in the face of the atrocities committed, but they were anxious to profit from the crime. In Nazi Gold author Bower tells a story of manipulation used to strip millions of Jewish people of their possessions and how the Swiss profited from every stolen dollar hidden in their banks. Even after the war was lost, these bankers refused to return the funds to the families of the murdered without death certificates that could never be attained.
The author also shows ways that the Swiss actually aided the Nazis with supplies and money while outwardly claiming their neutrality. His research is evident, and the book is rather dry in parts, but it does tell a story that needs to be told. He also shares some of the victims' experiences, making the book a bit more personal but that much more difficult to read. Bower shares the legal battles fought, long after the war ended, trying to make the Swiss own up to their part in the financial raping of millions of people.
It is difficult to recommend this as a "good" book, but it is probably a helpful book to read if you want to get an entire picture of the time. Bower is obviously not a fan of the Swiss and those feelings probably shaded his research and writing, but much of what he said is factual and leaves little room for his opinion to alter those facts. I have been reading this book a few sections at a time, and while I still have a few pages to go, I will say it has shown me that there are many ways to be a villain.
Publisher - Open Road Media
Date of Publication - March 21, 2017