Target Switzerland
Swiss Armed Neutrality in World War II

by Stephen P. Halbrook

In 1943, Adolf Hitler proclaimed that "all the rubbish of small nations existing in Europe must be liquidated," even if it meant he would later "be attacked as 'the butcher of the Swiss.'" In his diaries Josef Goebbels described Switzerland as "this stinking little state." The Gestapo prepared lists of Swiss to be executed once the Nazis overran the country. Yet, as the Nazi tide spread across Europe from the Pyrenees to the Volga, one nation stood free, albeit armed to the teeth-its flag unbowed in a sea of twisted crosses...read more

While surrounded by the Axis powers in World War II, Switzerland remained democratic and, unlike most of Europe, never succumbed to the siren songs and threats of the Nazi goliath. This book tells the story with emphasis on two voices rarely heard...read more

Translation: Schweizer Widerstand gegen Nazi-Deutschland (German)

This girl, one of 1,585 who competed, is being coached in sharpshooting with the Assault Rifle 90, the Swiss service rifle....
(From Girl Beats Guys: A Swiss Teen Rifle Festival)

Articles Available Online

Girl Beats Guys: A Swiss Teen Rifle Festival
Schiessen Schweiz
(November 2004)

Citizens in Arms: The Swiss Experience
Texas Review of Law & Politics (2003)
Lecture presented in A Question of Balance, International Symposium on Legal, Economic, and Human Rights Implications of Civilian Firearms Ownership and Regulation (Tower of London, May 1-2, 2003). DVD available.

Swiss Mess: Homeland Defense, the Wrong Way
(with Dave Kopel & Carlo Stagnaro)
National Review Online (October 30, 2001)

Guns, Crime, and the Swiss
Wall Street Journal (June 1999)
Donde los Niños y las Armas se Entremezclan (Spanish version)

An Armed Society
American Guardian (January 1998)

Other Articles

Die Schweiz im Visier
Neue Zürcher Zeitung (April 23, 2003)

"Sau Nazi!" What the Swiss Really Thought of Hitler
Swiss American Historical Society Review (February 2001).

Why Switzerland?
Current Concerns (April 2000)

Switzerland and Its Armed Citizenry
Chronicles (January 1998).

Die Fehler der Vereiningten Statten vermeiden
Neue Zurcher Zeitung (March 4, 1997)

In the Shadow of William Tell
Guns (September 1997).

Kontraproduktiv! Das Geplante Schweizer Waffenrecht Aus Der Sicht Eines Amerikaners
Deutsches Waffen-Journal (May 1997).

Switzerland's Feldschiessen
Gun Digest (1996/50th Annual Edition)

The World's Largest Rifle Shooting Match: Switzerland 1995
The 1996 Precision Shooting Annual (Manchester, CT: Precision Shooting, Inc., 1996)

Armed and Free
Soldier of Fortune (December 1994)

Swiss Schuetzenfest
American Rifleman (May 1993)

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Email: sphalbrook [at] gmail.com
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