The Swiss and the Nazis: How the Alpine Republic Survived in the Shadow of the Third Reich (2006)

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. One voice is that of scores of Swiss who lived in those dark years, told through oral history. They mobilized to defend the country, labored on the farms, and helped refugees. The other voice is that of Nazi Intelligence, those who spied on the Swiss and planned subversion and invasion. Exhaustive documents from the German military archives reveals a chilling rendition of attack plans which would be dissuaded in part by Switzerland’s armed populace and Alpine defenses…

The Swiss and the Nazis is also available in translation:



Target Switerland: Swiss Armed Neutrality in World War II (1998)

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…

Target Switzerland is also available in translation:

Scholarly Articles and Book Chapters

“Citizens in Arms: The Swiss Experience,” Texas Review of Law & Politics Vol. 8, Issue 1 (Fall 2003), 142-74. Oral presentation 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, 2003.2003
“The Eidgenössisches Schützenfest: a Traditional Shooting Festival,” Swiss American Historical Society Review (Nov. 2020).2020
“European History of 1799 as Seen from the USA,” Suworow in der Schweiz: Colloque Souvorov du bicentenaire 1799 - 1999 (Zurich: Thesis, 2001), 162-79.2001
“Operation Sunrise: America’s OSS, Swiss Intelligence, and the German Surrender 1945,” in “Operation Sunrise.” Atti del convegno internazianale (Locarno, 2 maggio 2005), a cura di Marino Viganò – Dominic M Pedrazzini (2006), 103-30.2006
“‘Sau Nazi!’ What the Swiss Really Thought of Hitler,” Swiss American Historical Society Review Vol. 37, No. 1, 3-21 (February 2001).2001
“The Spirit of Resistance: The Swiss ‘Wochenshau’ and ‘Armeefilmdienst,’” in Switzerland Under Siege, 1939-1945: A Neutral Nation’s Struggle for Survival, Leo Schelbert ed., (Rockport, ME: Picton Press, 2000).2000
“The Swiss and the Nazis,” 43 Swiss American Historical Review, No. 1, 4-30 (Feb. 2007).2007
“The Swiss Confederation in the Eyes of America’s Founders,” 48 Swiss American Historical Review No. 3, 32-69 (Nov. 2012).2012
“The Swiss Influence on the American Constitution,” in Halbrook, Die Schweiz im Visier (Zurich: Max Geilinger-Stiftung 2000), 30-39.2000
“A Swiss Schuetzenfest: The World’s Largest Rifle Match,” Shooting Sports USA (Oct. 9, 2019).2019

Articles and Op-Eds

“An American’s View of How the Swiss Coped with the Crisis in the 1990s,” Wir Ziehen Bilanz: Zur Auseinandersetzung um die Haltung der Schweiz im Zweiten Weltkrieg (Stäfa: Th. Gut Verlag, Zürichsee Presse AG, 2005), 154-73. Also in La Suisse au pilori? Témoignages et bilan à la suite du Rapport Bergier (Edition Cabédita, Yens-sur-Morges 2006).2006
“An Armed Society,” American Guardian, Jan. 1998, 40-43, 57-58.1998
“Armed to the Teeth, and Free,” The Wall Street Journal Europe, June 3, 1999.1999
“Book Review: Einer Für Alle, Alle Für Einen—One For All, All For One,” 59 Swiss American Historical Society Review, No. 2, 92-100 (2023).2023
“The Darker Side of Gun Control,” National Law Journal, May 24, 2004, 39.2004
“Das Nazi-Waffengesetz und die Entwaffnung der deutschen Juden,” Allgemeine Schweizerische Militärzeitschrift, Nr. 12, Dezember 2001, 8-11.2001
“Der freie Bürger und sein Recht, eine Waffe zu tragen,” Schweizerzeit, 21. Februar 2003, 5.2003
“Die Fehler der Vereiningten Statten vermeiden,” Neue Zürcher Zeitung, March 4, 1997, 18.1997
“Die Schweiz – immer auf Seiten der Freiheit,” STAB-Preis 2002 für Stephen P. Halbrook und Angelo M. Codevilla (Stiftung für Abendländische Besinnung Zürich, 2002), 27-33.2002
“Die Schweiz im Visier,” Neue Zürcher Zeitung, April 23, 2003, S. 14.2003
“Die Schweiz ist ein Sonderfall,” Pro Libertate, Juli-August 2010, S. 5.2010
“Eine dringende Ergänzung zum Bergier-Bericht: Ein Interview mit dem Juristen und Buchautor Stephen P. Halbrook,” Schweizerzeit, 28.Mai 2010, 5-6.2010
“Fusillade of Amicus Briefs Filed in Rahimi,” The Volokh Conspiracy, Oct. 9, 2023.2006
“How the Swiss Defeated the Gun Ban,” America’s 1st Freedom, July 2011, 22-25.2011
“In the Shadow of William Tell,” Guns, September 1997, 20, 22.1997
“Kontraproduktiv! Das Geplante Schweizer Waffenrecht Aus Der Sicht Eines Amerikaners,” Deutsches Waffen-Journal, May 1997, 772-73.1997
“Swiss Mess: Homeland Defense, the Wrong Way” (with Dave Kopel & Carlo Stagnaro), National Review Online (October 30, 2001).2001
“Swiss Schuetzenfest,” American Rifleman, 46-47, 74-75 (May 1993).1993
“Switzerland’s Feldschiessen,” Gun Digest 20-26 (1996/50th Annual Edition).1996
“Switzerland, Gun Laws,” Guns in American Society: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics, Culture, and the Law, Gregg Lee Carter, ed. (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2002), 569-72.2002
“Switzerland and Its Armed Citizenry,” Chronicles 38-40 (Jan. 1998).1998
“Where Kids and Guns Do Mix,” The Wall Street Journal, June 10, 1999, A26. Spanish-language version: “Donde los Niños las Armas se Entremezclan.”1999
“Why Switzerland?” Current Concerns, April 2000, 3-4.2000
“The World’s Largest Rifle Shooting Match: Switzerland 1995,” The 1996 Precision Shooting Annual (Manchester, CT: Precision Shooting, Inc., 1996).1996