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WWII-Era Swiss

September 20, 1998

Re The Times' interview with Alan Morris Schom, Opinion, Aug. 23: We were deeply disappointed by the leading questions asked of Schom by Ann Brenoff.

Two questions in particular are highly offensive. These are: "How would you answer those who say, 'This was war, and Switzerland was doing what it had to do to survive'? Are the Swiss guilty of nothing more than cowardice?" Brenoff then follows up that insult against the people of Switzerland with her next disparaging question: "Do you think there was genuine anti-Semitism among the Swiss people, or was it just the government?"

The Swiss of that time were not guilty of cowardice and because of their staunch resistance to the fascist states surrounding them managed to save the lives of thousands of Jews, Allies and refugees. As for the second question, I will not dignify it with a response other than to state that Switzerland has a centuries-old tradition of democracy, freedom and a deep respect for all human rights.

I very much regret that The Times could collaborate in such an uncritical way in spreading the false and biased assertions of Schom.

THOMAS G. BORER

Ambassador-at-Large

Federal Dept. of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland

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