Schweizerischer Vaterländischer Verband

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Schweizerischer Vaterländischer Verband (French: Fédération patriotique suisse, Italian: Federazione patriottica svizzera)[1] (Swiss Patriotic Federation or SVV) was a right wing organisation influential in Swiss politics before World War II.

The SVV was set up on 5 April 1919 [2] by Dr. Eugen Bircher to oppose 'international emigration', which in effect became anti-Semitism, with the group holding The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as fact, alongside a similar work Aufklärung zur Flüchtlingsfrage (Shedding Light on the Refugee Question).[3] Bircher's position as a colonel in the Swiss Army was such that he was able to bring many high-ranking officers in to the SVV, with Henri Guisan amongst those to join up.[3] Although not specifically Nazi in its outlook, it nonetheless sought to maintain cordial relations with Nazi Germany.[3]

It was effectively open in its existence, but its membership was largely a closely guarded secret and as such the group became influential in driving government policy.[3] Its influence was such that it was the only organisation with Nazi sympathies that was not closed down by the Swiss Federal Council in 1945.[3] It was not dissolved until after it got caught up in a bribery scandal in 1948.[citation needed]