Switzerland Clears 137 Criminalized for Helping Jews During World War II

Government commission clears names of 137 punished for smuggling Jewish refugees across borders between 1938 and 1945.

A Swiss government commission is drawing to a close after clearing the names of 137 people judged to be criminals because they helped Jews escape Nazi persecution during World War II.

The commission was set up at the start of 2004 to use a new law on "rehabilitation."

Auschwitz memorial

The law allowed for posthumous recognition of people unfairly criminalized under Swiss laws on neutrality because they smuggled Jewish refugees across borders between 1938 and 1945.

Some were jailed or fined, and many lost jobs.

The commission, mandated to end in 2011, said its aim was to repair the damage caused by a "grave injustice" of history.

Only one person, Aimee Stitelman of Geneva, lived long enough to see her name cleared in 2004, and died months later.