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30

Simply because Switzerland was a worse alternative plan strategically than Netherlands and Belgium. Hitler had a plan to attack Switzerland, named Operation Tannenbaum but the Maginot line could be breached through Belgium and Netherland. So it became needless conflict with no gain. It is a less known fact that Switzerland (German part namely) was part of ...


17

The Alpine Mountains were HUGE in the development of Switzerland. There is a reason that Switzerland contains French, German, and Italian speaking regions. These regions were the main area in each linguistic group that could successfully resist the feudal lords of what later became the "countries" of France, Germany, and Italy. The polyglot members of the ...


16

By not being a threat, and having no strategic benefit to either side worth fighting a professional army on excellent defensive terrain. Take a good at Switzerland and you'll notice one thing: mountains. Lots and lots of tall mountains. Mountains mean easily defended choke points. They mean peaks hiding guns and observers who can call down fire and ...


13

The thing is that at the time in question, France was actually quite diverse (and yet sufficiently unified on a political level to become a rather successful democratic nation-state rather than crumble like Austria-Hungary). And as you correctly surmised, Alsace-Moselle (the German “Elsaß-Lothringen”) loomed large in French minds but not quite for the ...


13

Switzerland isn't much of a "prize." It has about 16,000 square miles, and about 4.5 million people in 1940 making it twice the size of New Jersey, with about as many people. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switzerland On both counts, it is one of the smaller countries in Europe, and less worth having. On the other hand, Switzerland maintains a policy of armed ...


12

Since its founding, Switzerland has been somewhat isolated from the rest of Europe. That's partly because of its mountainous geography, and partly because of its fierce desire for independence, and the ability NOT to participate in what was going on in Europe at any given time (feudalism in the Middle Ages, nationalism later on). This problem was ...


11

In Switzerland, it had to pass a popular referendum. (Switzerland also joined the UN and legalized abortion only in 2002 — both decisions that were passed through referendum.) Similarly in Liechtenstein, 1984, where the 4th referendum in 16 years only narrowly passed despite support from newspapers and both major political parties. Passing a popular ...


7

Because they were settled by Germans who kept in contact with other Germanic regions. Upper Valais speaks a German dialect because it was extensively settled by Germanic immigrants during the Middle Ages. At the time, Switzerland in general was being gradually infiltrated by Germans. Upper Valais, specifically, was settled by German speaking colonists from ...


7

It does appear to be the Sauser family crest. Here are some colour versions: As you can see, the design consists of two trefoils (i.e. clovers), growing from a trimount (i.e. a mount of three hillocks), on a blue blackground. The crossed-seven-esque sign in gold appears to be a hausmarke. The trefoils are a symbol for perpetuity. As a side note, green ...


7

Well the "Reason" to this was the Swiss vote system. To make a change in the Swiss constitution, a "vote initiative" has to be submitted. If the prospective vote initiative fulfills some conditions and other things, it gets to be an initiative. This initiative goes out and then the people which are allow can vote about it. They can accept or decline it. If ...


6

First of all, I would not consider Switzerland to be politically isolated. After WWII, Switzerland got the European seat of the UN (and although it took forever for Switzerland to become a member of the UN, they have been active in many UN organizations), it was a founding member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), which was the competing ...


6

No visa was needed to enter, strictly speaking. But it would be needed to enter legally and for staying there. There were no privileges for Germans from anywhere, but privileges for people citing a reason the Swiss accepted and for people having documented ties to people in Switzerland. Just hailing from Soviet occupied Germany would likely be not ...


5

Adding to @Schwern's great answer, Switzerland had been internationally recognized as an independent neutral state at the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. Its neutral status changed in 1814 when it was allied to France. However, its neutrality was again recognized by the major European countries in Treaty of Paris of 1815. This helped it to stay neutral in both ...


5

Yes, it appears they did. Wikipedia's caption on the map below reads: Italian territory claims by Italian irredentism activists in the 1930s, including Nice, Ticino and Dalmatia in green, Malta in red, and later also claimed Corsica in purple "Ticino" is of course the Italian name for what German-speakers call "Tessin". How hard this was pushed is ...


5

Neutral Switzerland was an venue for communication between belligerents' intelligence services, and thus was of benefit to all sides. Additionally, Germany used the Switzerland's famous watch-making industry to circumvent the allied blockade on Beryllium copper, used for springs in watches and machine guns. (The source: a book on history of metallurgy I ...


4

Nearly all of the Swiss guards were killed during the storming of the Tuilleries on 10 August 1792, or in the immediate aftermath. Nearly a hundred were publicly executed in the square of the Hotel de Ville. After the palace and assembly were overrun, the revolutionaries went hunting through the buildings room by room, killing anyone they found, porters, ...


4

Universities (at least in the US) tend to give those out to famous people as favors for lecturing there. As such, having an "honorary" degree doesn't really mean a whole lot. There wouldn't be much incentive for making up a false story about somebody receiving one. It appears he did a speaking tour of the US in 1911, and did speak at several universities, ...


4

The evidence you have presented suggests that the card is meant to assist a Zwilchenbart customer in getting to the branch in New York upon arriving in the city. Presumably the customer has deposited funds with the bank in Basel, and will have need to collect some of it, in American currency, immediately after clearing the immigration facility. The Battery ...


3

This is a little complicated as women’s rights depended on age and / or marital status and / or canton. It would also have depended on the individual husband , guardian or father. Generally speaking, for the specified period 1900 – 1905, married women and women yet to achieve majority (until 1912 this was 20 or 21 years of age, depending on canton) were ...


3

This 1770s map appears to show the border running along the ridge line, as in your 1869 example, suggesting that if there was any change it was relatively short-lived. Given this, I wonder if the 1859 line may simply be a cartographical error...


3

It is just that: "to simplify the map". Or more precise one of the examples of the German mediatization. But with the small twist that the prime arbiter of this was Napoleon. He acquired German lands left of the Rhine for France. That was of course not very popular with German princes that lost possessions there. But then this was also painted as a ...


3

So, there are numerous referencing to the first Zionist Congress taking place in the Stadtcasino Basel, the Stadt Casino in Basel. First of all, let's take the picture that you include in the question, from hertzl.org (link to Web Archive; the original link in the question no longer works). That's this image: So first, going to the English Wikipedia page ...


2

Actually, there was a mild form of French "Irredentism" that manifested itself in the Austro-Sardinian war of 1859, when France demanded the return of Savoy and Nice in exchange for aiding Sardinia in a war against Austria. When France overran and occupied Switzerland, Belgium and other nations under Napoleon, she illegitimately claimed control of more than ...


2

I found the answer on page 267 in: Oshiro, George M. “The End: 1929-1933.” In Nitobe Inazô: Japan’s Bridge Across the Pacific, edited by John F. Howes, 253–78. Boulder: Westview Press, Inc., 1995. “His last major appearance to a wider audience was an address to the Institute of International Affairs at Pasadena. He gave an address entitled, ‘A Japanese ...


2

I found some information in a German speaking forum: Das Gebiet der Schweiz stiess an zwei Punkten unmittelbar an die Fronten, an der Grenze des heutigen Juras bei Pruntrut an die deutsch-französische Front und ab 1915 beim Stilfserjoch im Südosten Graubündens an die italienisch-österreichische Front. Rough Translation: There were two connections to ...


1

I think he's off base about Switzerland, unless he is mischaracterizing the nature of the Swiss confederacy. I'm also not sure what he means about ethnic strife. He's probably talking about the Duchy of Savoy and France directly to the south, and the passes from France into Northwest Italy. It's a strategic point in Western Europe by which France was trying ...


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