[Most of the following files are only available in german, french or italian.]

e-dossier: the «Conradi Affair»

Picture form the Daily Herald, November 17th, 1923. Headlines: «Acquittal of Conradi», «Amazing Verdict of Swiss Jury», «Natural Sequel to one-sided Trial», from: E4320A#1000/849#68*

It was a murderer’s confession: «Perhaps, only posterity will understand and will thank me for being the first to openly fight these evildoers», Maurice Conradi went on record with the Lausanne police. On 10 May 1923, Conradi, a Swiss citizen living in Russia, had shot Soviet diplomat Vatslav Vorovsky in the hotel Cécil, in front of witnesses.

e-dossier: The Washington Agreement of 1946

Chief Delegate Minister Walter Stucki shortly before his departure to Washington. Schweizerische Filmwochenschau, 22 March 1946, cf. dodis.ch/dds/1169.

In spring 1946, a high-ranking Swiss delegation visited Washington to negotiate the release of frozen Swiss assets in the USA as well as the end of the allied boycott of companies that, during WWII, had traded with the Axis Powers. In turn, the USA, Great Britain, and France demanded that Swiss banks hand over German assets. The Washington Agreement (dodis.ch/1725), finalised 70 years ago, on 25 May 1946, after difficult negotiations, represents a milestone in Swiss foreign policy.

e-Dossier: Diplomatie auf Schienen – Gotthardbahn und Aussenpolitik

Bauarbeiter um 1880 vor dem Südportal des Gotthardtunnels in Airolo. Quelle: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gotthardtunnel

Wenn am 1. Juni 2016 der Gotthard-Basistunnel feierlich eröffnet wird, markiert dies den aktuellen Höhepunkt einer Entwicklung, die über eine reiche Geschichte verfügt. Der Bau einer Eisenbahnlinie durch die Schweizer Alpen war bereits im 19. Jahrhundert ein Grossprojekt von europäischer Dimension. Entsprechend eng war seine Durchführung mit aussenpolitischen Erwägungen verknüpft.

e-Dossier: The Establishment of Swiss Diplomatic Relations with the USSR

From left to right: federal councillor Max Petitpierre talking to minister Eduard Zellweger (Belgrad) and to Hermann Flückiger, designated as the first envoy to Moscow. «Schweizerische Filmwochenschau» from 5.4.1946.

On 18 March 1946, an exchange of diplomatic notes in Belgrade (dodis.ch/48190) broke a silence that had lasted almost thirty years, establishing official relations between Switzerland and the Soviet Union. The normalization of relations with the new eastern superpower was one of the fundamental conditions for the development of Switzerland's international relations in the commencing Cold War.

e-Dossier: Swiss Representation of US-Interests in Cuba

A «Special Relationship»: Cubas Prime Minister Fidel Castro talking to Swiss ambassador Emil Stadelhofer (right) in 1964. Source: dodis.ch/40943

«If neutral Switzerland did not exist, we [would have] had to invent it», an influential advisor of US President John F. Kennedy said in March 1962 to the Swiss ambassador in Washington, August R. Lindt. This «complete satisfaction» was also due to the Swiss representation of US interests in Cuba, which came to an end in August 2015 due to the renewal of diplomatic relations between Havana and Washington.

e-Dossier: The Helsinki Final Act of the CSCE in 1975

Pierre Graber, President of the Swiss Confederation, signs the CSCE final act in Helsinki on August 1st. Source: Ringier Image Archive, Aarau.

«The Conference on Security and Co-Operation in Europe does not end with the ceremonial signing of the final act in Helsinki on August 1st of this year. In fact in many ways it is just beginning» stated a circular of the FDFA in October 1975. Nevertheless, it marks a milestone of European history, reached at that time. For Switzerland, it designated a decisive step in the opening of its foreign policy.

e-Dossier: Geneva Summit of 1955

No less than the leaders of the Great Powers gathered in Geneva. On July 18 1955 the summit of the «big four» began: US-President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Soviet Minister President Nikolai A. Bulganin as well as Antony Eden and Edgar Faure, the British and French Prime Ministers, convened in the international city.