1. September 2014 – 75 years since the outbreak of World War II

«If you can't keep silent, you'll harm our country» - propaganda slogan from 1940

«In the past few days, the foreign policy situation has escalated to the point that it seems a matter of urgent necessity to entrust the security of our boarders and the protection of our neutrality to the army». This statement was pronounced during the Federal Council's morning session on 1st September 1939, as part of its decision on mobilisation (DDS, vol. 13, doc. 142, dodis.ch/46899, original in German). Just a few hours before, the German invasion of Poland had marked the start of what was to be known as World War II.

The online database Dodis contains close to 600 documents dating back to the period from 1939 to 1945 that can be downloaded as PDF documents. To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the War in Europe, the research group of the DDS has now added two dozen documents focusing on the years 1939/40 from vol. 13 of the DDS, published in 1991 under the direction of Jean-François Bergier. These documents, emanating from the Federal Council, the Federal Administration, as well as diplomatic missions, have been indexed according to themes, persons and geographical terms. From a foreign policy angle, they offer an enlightening insight into Switzerland's situation at the time of the outbreak of the War.

To view the documents: dodis.ch/C1372.