|Member of the Swiss Federal Council|
December 13, 1928 – December 31, 1944
|Preceded by||Ernest Chuard|
|Succeeded by||Max Petitpierre|
|President of Switzerland|
1 January 1934 – 31 December 1934
|Preceded by||Edmund Schulthess|
|Succeeded by||Rudolf Minger|
1 January 1940 – 31 December 1940
|Preceded by||Philipp Etter|
|Succeeded by||Ernst Wetter|
|Born||December 31, 1889
Cossonay, Vaud, Switzerland
|Died||April 11, 1958 (aged 68)
|Political party||Free Democratic Party|
Marcel Pilet-Golaz (December 31, 1889 – April 11, 1958) was a Swiss politician. He was elected to the Swiss Federal Council on December 13, 1928 and handed over office on December 31, 1944. He was affiliated to the Free Democratic Party.
During his time in office he held the following departments:
- Department of Home Affairs (1929)
- Department of Posts and Railways (1930 - 1939)
- Political Department (1940)
- Department of Posts and Railways (1940)
- Political Department (1941 - 1944)
He was President of the Confederation twice in 1934 and 1940.
Pilet-Golaz was said to be a pragmatic politician who tried to do with the German 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. The way he choose, namely to build a relatively good rapport with the Third Reich, 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 . In September, he met with three representative of the Mouvement national suisse, the Swiss pro-Nazi party (the MNS was disbanded by the Federal government two months later) .
When in 1944 he tried to take up relations with the Soviet Union, the latter refused roughly. So Pilet-Golaz lost all support and had to resign.
Notes and references
- Werner Rings, Die Schweiz im Krieg.
- Marcel Pilet-Golaz in the Dodis database of the Diplomatic Documents of Switzerland
- Profile of Marcel Pilet-Golaz with election results on the website of the Swiss Federal Council.
- Marcel Pilet-Golaz in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
|Member of the Swiss Federal Council
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