Historians: Laborers forced to work for Prince of Liechtenstein during World War II
Thu, 14 Apr 2005
A four-year investigation conducted by historians has found that the principality of Liechtenstein had done little wrong during Germany's Nazi regime 60 years ago. In 2000, the World Jewish Congress asked Liechtenstein to investigate its role during World War II. "We must remember that nothing about this time in history is black and white, but rather all shades of grey", said Peter Geiger, the chairman of the historians commission. In its report, the commission concludes that the tiny state did not employ slave workers and no assets belonging to Jewish families were confiscated but the country's refugee policy was ambivalent. "Liechtenstein was definitely not the worst country during that period but there are a lot of things that could have been improved," historian and committee member Dan Michman said. "It belonged to the bystanders and not the perpetrators." Nonetheless, companies in Austria owned by then ruler Franz Josef II (the father of today's Prince Hans-Adam) had employed forced laborers, and the stance of Franz Josef toward the Nazi regime was described as "ambivalent" by the historians.
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