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The Swiss & the Nazis: How the Alpine Republic Survived in the Shadow of the Third Reich Paperback – October, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 353 pages
  • Publisher: Casemate; 1st edition (October 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935149342
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935149347
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #565,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Stephen Halbrook lives in the USA. He is a lawyer and has a PhD in philosophy from Florida State University. Author of several books, he has also published many articles and regularly appears on radio and television. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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See all 21 customer reviews
The book is great and it tells it very much as it was.
Miko
Unfortunately, all of this interesting material did not result in a well-written book.
Jeffrey Swystun
Excellent book, shows history as noteacher or TV will tell you.
Lidija FOGLAR

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Haubrechts Patrick on August 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Swiss citizen born in 1944, I was too young for direct witness, but I rely on my father testimony of the time. I can certify that all the facts and descriptions are correct to the last detail. Many of the accounts of day-to-day life were told by my father in the fifties, when I was a curious child. I was a soldier too, when I was 18 years old, until I was 50 years old. I was stationned in a military airfield where all but the landing strip was underground, with all supplies and ammunition for one year. The sprit of resistance was still there all along the cold war time. Thanks for the author to restore a more accurate view of Switzerland away from ideologies and politics.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Swystun on August 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"By every strategic rationale, Switzerland should have fallen to the Nazis in World War II." Why it did not is the subject of the book and is largely attributed to Swiss courage, democracy, terrain, defenses, policy, and, luck. The author credits heavily the military requirement that "every able-bodied man served in the army and was well trained in firearms." He reiterates this point along with deft foreign policy and the attitudes of the population as contributing factors. The Swiss army mobilized 850,000 men at its peak which was impressive, however, it is hard to conclude how they would have performed had Hitler ordered his forces in early in the conflict.

The real story here is how the Swiss went on with business (which is the country's culture). Most countries forced to live under such a constant threat for so long would have strained in many ways. This is not to say the Swiss did not face hardships because they did, it is just that they carried on with great aplomb. Their satirical edge kept them going as did an overriding anti-German sentiment. They were also emboldened by the effects of the Finnish War which showed that a David could take down a Goliath. Switzerland's position both geographically and politically made for a precarious balancing act.

Unfortunately, all of this interesting material did not result in a well-written book. I found it highly repetitive and stark. For all of the threat and intrigue the Swiss faced, this particular history informed but did not compel.
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23 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Juan Diego Soler Díaz on January 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I made an extended research concerning Switzerland's role in the WWII, reading more than 10 books, and this one was very useful. I liked the fact that the author explains a lot of the Swiss culture and traditions, and its repercussions in the role of the country in the war.
It is very well written, and the book is definitely not a boring history book, but rather like a novel about true facts.
Anyway, I dind't rate this book with 5 stars because I found it to be excessively biased. It is crucial to understand that when one reads about history, especially about controversial issues in history, any source (in this case, book) will be biased because humans are biased by nature. Unfortunately, this author seems to be blind at certain facts that took place in those years, and assumes a defensive position towards the role of Switzerland, without even trying to leave his personal bias aside not even a moment.

Conclusion: this is a very interesting book to read and to get informed about the role of Switzerland in the WWII and their relationship with the Nazis, written in an understandable manner, good for beginners in the subject. Still, anyone who wishes to really know about this subject should later read other books by other authors.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Miguel Faria on January 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is another informative and magnificent book by legal scholar and author, Stephen Halbrook, which clarifies a contentious point in the history of free men and women preserving their freedom against all odds. This book tells why the Nazis refrained from attacking the small nation of Switzerland, a thorn in the side of the Wehrmach! The war machine of the Nazi Third Reich during World War II rolled over and devoured its weaker neighbors because it was worth the price. Armed citizens bent on preserving their liberties can prevent tyranny in their own countries; likewise, peaceful but armed nations determined to preserve their freedom and independence can deter foreign aggression from a hostile power. As I have written elsewhere: "Switzerland, a small, landlocked country, stood up against the Nazi threat during World War II, because each and every male was an armed and a free citizen. (The Swiss republic was the 'Sister‑Republick' that the American Founding Fathers so greatly admired.) Nazi Germany could have overwhelmed Switzerland during World War II, but the price was too steep for the German High Command. Instead, the Nazi juggernaut trampled over Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland, Norway, and other countries, and avoided the armed Swiss nation, the 'porcupine,' which was prepared for war and its military was ready to die rather than surrender."(1) Halbrook's magnificent book reiterates this truth and tell us how it was done with finesse and enchanting eloquent prose. If you like history and enjoy reading about the dramatic encounters between the forces of freedom vis-a-vis tyranny, get this book and read it. I highly recommend it!

(1) Faria MA. America, guns and freedom: Part II - An international perspective. Surg Neurol Int [serial online] 2012 [cited 2014 Jan 4];3:135.
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