Switzerland in the Second World War

In view of the imminent danger of war, the Federal Assembly gave the Federal Council extensive powers and on August 30, 1939 elected H. Guisan as General and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. After the outbreak of World War II, general mobilization was ordered (September 3–5, 1939). The violation of neutrality and independence, among other things. Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands in the course of German attack operations against France (May 1940) strengthened the awareness of the threat v. a. through Germany. In June 1940 air battles with German fighter planes broke out over the Jura. After the military collapse of France (June 1940) Guisan gave upon July 25, 1940 announced the Réduit plan in the event of a German attack on Switzerland. The political line of Swiss foreign policy under Federal Councilor Marcel Pilet-Golaz (* 1889, † 1958; Head of the Political Department from 1940–44), which at the height of the Second World War sought to preserve Switzerland’s independence through limited adaptation to Germany, remained controversial.

To cover the costs of the war, the Federal Council set, inter alia, through a “military tax”. In the course of tough economic negotiations with both warring sides, the necessary supplies were secured. According to plans by the later Federal Councilor F. T. Wahlen, the problems of the food supply were to be overcome through increased cultivation (“cultivation battle”). With the election of E. Nob (December 1943) a Social Democrat became a member of the Federal Council for the first time. In the course of the war, problems related to the granting of asylum and refugee policy (not infrequently the rejection of racially or politically persecuted persons of the Nazi regime from Germany and Austria; exception: unauthorized action by P. Grüninger) as well as freedom of the press (»press censorship« of September 8, 1939 as an instrument of neutrality policy) the domestic political climate.

Swiss wines

Swiss wines. According to ethnicityology, Switzerland’s vineyards cover almost 15,000 hectares (2016). Swiss wines only became known beyond national borders in the 1990s, as exports previously only made up around 1–2% of production volumes. Overall, the country produces around 108 million liters of wine annually, of which 53 million liters are white wine and 55 million liters are red wine. 17 of the 24 cantons have their own viticulture.

Soils and grape varieties: The soil types in the Swiss cultivation areas range from alluvial land to gravelly, sandy and loamy soils, Jurassic limestone and debris cones to moraine gravel. The vineyards are mainly concentrated in the three large river valleys of the Rhône, the Rhine and the Ticino, where the vines mainly grow on steep and terraced slopes. These steep slopes, which can almost only be worked by hand, are the reason why only quality viticulture with relatively high-priced products is profitable here. Almost 60% of the red wine grape varieties are cultivated, the proportion of which has risen by a good third since 1985. Local specialties such as Savagnin blanc (Heida), Arvine, Amigne, Humagne, R Noiseling or Bondola stand out among the 50 or so varieties. The most cultivated grape variety is the Spätburgunder (Pinot noir, 4140 ha), followed by white Gutedel (Chasselas, 3790 ha), Gamay (1300 ha), Merlot (1140 ha), Müller-Thurgau, Chardonnay and Silvaner (Johannisberg). New breeds such as Gamaret and Garanoir are also popular.

Growing areas: In terms of wine geography, the country is divided into western Switzerland – the most important wine producers with around 11,000 hectares of vineyards (western Swiss wines), eastern Switzerland (a good 2,600 ha, eastern Swiss wines) and southern Switzerland (1,124 ha), i.e. H. essentially the Ticino, subdivided. Since 2010, the vineyards on French soil in the Swiss border zone in the Geneva region have also been counted as part of the entire Swiss vineyard area. Among the cantons in which viticulture is practiced, Valais, with almost 5000 hectares, has priority over Vaud (3,770 hectares), Geneva (1,409 hectares), Ticino (1,076 hectares), Zurich (611 hectares) and Schaffhausen (almost 500 ha) and Graubünden (400 ha).

Swiss Federation of Trade Unions

Swiss Federation of Trade Unions, abbreviation SGB, French Union Syndicale Suisse [y nj ɔ sε di kal s ɥ is], Italian Unione Sindicale Svizzera, founded in 1880 as a neutral politically and religiously umbrella organization; Headquarters: Bern; works closely with the Social Democratic Party of Switzerland (SPS) together. After the merger (2004) of the trade unions industry, trade and services (formerly machine, metal and watchmaking industry, SMUV), trade union construction and industry (GBI), sales, trade, transport, food (VHTL), Unia and ACG under the In the name of Unia, the SGB unites 16 individual trade unions with around 380,000 members. The highest organs of the SGB, which is also organized at the cantonal level, are the trade union congress, which meets every four years, takes the basic trade union decisions and elects the president and the five vice-presidents, as well as the delegates’ assembly, which meets at least twice a year, which includes the board, the secretariat and the Audit commission determined. The collective bargaining policy falls within the sole competence of the individual trade unions. Through submissions to the Federal Council and the federal offices as well as through the means of direct democracy (popular initiative, referendum), the SGB tries to improve the legislative development, v. a. in the areas of social security, labor law, and the fight against unemployment.

Switzerland in the Second World War