Marcel Pilet-Golaz

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Marcel Pilet-Golaz
Member of the Swiss Federal Council
In office
13 December 1928 – 31 December 1944
Preceded byErnest Chuard
Succeeded byMax Petitpierre
President of Switzerland
In office
1 January 1934 – 31 December 1934
Preceded byEdmund Schulthess
Succeeded byRudolf Minger
In office
1 January 1940 – 31 December 1940
Preceded byPhilipp Etter
Succeeded byErnst Wetter
Personal details
Born31 December 1889
Cossonay, Vaud, Switzerland
Died11 April 1958 (aged 68)
Paris, France
Political partyFree Democratic Party

Marcel Pilet-Golaz (31 December 1889 – 11 April 1958) was a Swiss politician. He was elected to the Swiss Federal Council on 13 December 1928 and handed over office on 31 December 1944. He was affiliated to the Free Democratic Party.

During his time in office he held the following departments:

He was President of the Confederation twice in 1934 and 1940.

Pilet-Golaz was said to be a pragmatic politician who tried to negotiate with German nazism and Italian fascism. He, therefore, had to face the reproach that he sympathized with fascism.

As the head of the foreign affairs, he had to find a balance between the German requirements, the objections of the Allies and the will of Switzerland to stay independent. His choice to build a relatively good rapport with Nazi Germany was very disputed, during as well as after the war. On 25 June 1940, Pilet-Golaz gave a speech containing numerous references to the coming of an authoritarian regime in Switzerland and to a "new order" in Europe.[2] In September, he met with three representatives of the National Movement of Switzerland (Nationale Bewegung der Schweiz/Mouvement national suisse), the Swiss pro-Nazi party (the MNS was disbanded by the Federal government two months later).[3]

In 1944, when Pilet-Golaz tried to take up relations with the Soviet Union, the latter refused roughly. So he lost all support and had to resign.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b In current language the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.
  2. ^ "Discours radiophonique du Président de la Confédération, M. Pilet-Golaz". 25 June 1940.
  3. ^ "Page non trouvée « Cercle Démocratique Lausanne". Archived from the original on 14 April 2013.
  • Werner Rings, Die Schweiz im Krieg.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Member of the Swiss Federal Council
Succeeded by