Washington Agreement Switzerland

One document that has been kept confidential is a letter about the “possessions of victims of violent crimes recently committed by the former German government who died without heirs.” The Federal Council intends to examine “with sympathy” the issue of these “dormant assets” in Switzerland (dodis.ch/1730, original in French). “Unclaimed property” would employ diplomats for decades to come (see dodis.ch/T619), with the real Brilliance only following after the end of the Cold War in the 1990s. On 19 December 1943, after intense pressure from the Allies, an Allied-Swiss agreement was concluded, according to which the Swiss agreed to limit their exports to Germany directly and indirectly. In return, the Allies eased their economic blockade, lifted the embargo on all shipping and export licenses, including foodstuffs, imposed by the Allies in March 1943, and promised to abandon the blacklist of suspicious Swiss companies unless there was concrete evidence of violations. Treasury Secretary Vinson, Assistant Secretary of State Clayton and Senator Kilgore each believed that the U.S. government should accept the Swiss offer. .

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