How the Swiss Opted Out of War
Posted on: 2012-02-01 20:17:15
Any attempt to terrorize citizens with Mumbai-style attacks would be met with the assault rifles and rocket launchers of every Swiss household.
Switzerland has not been in a foreign war of any kind since 1815. This would be astounding, even miraculous, for any nation. But Switzerland borders Germany. And France. And Italy. And Austria. And Liechtenstein. Now the Vaduz regime has rarely lashed out in blitzkrieg in a desperate bid to reign über alles, but all of Switzerland’s other neighbors have spent their histories invading other countries.
In addition to the encircling foreign marauders, Switzerland itself is composed of four different language groups (German, French, Italian, and Romansh) that get along as well as, well, Germans and French.
At the end of World War II, some Russian refugees took shelter in Liechtenstein. The Soviets demanded they be turned over to the NKVD, and Liechtenstein blocked them (so occasionally the fury of Liechtenstein is unleashed, after all). While the United States and Britain helped the Soviets herd millions of people onto trains to Siberian death camps, the citizens of Liechtenstein (and its ally Switzerland) faced down Stalin.