Marcel Pilet-Golaz

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Marcel Pilet-Golaz
Marcel Pilet-Golaz.gif
Member of the Swiss Federal Council
In office
13 December 1928 – 31 December 1944
Preceded by Ernest Chuard
Succeeded by Max Petitpierre
President of Switzerland
In office
1 January 1934 – 31 December 1934
Preceded by Edmund Schulthess
Succeeded by Rudolf Minger
In office
1 January 1940 – 31 December 1940
Preceded by Philipp Etter
Succeeded by Ernst Wetter
Personal details
Born 31 December 1889
Cossonay, Vaud, Switzerland
Died 11 April 1958 (aged 68)
Paris, France
Political party Free 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 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 [1]. 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) [2].

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[edit]

  1. ^ a b In current language the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.
  • Werner Rings, Die Schweiz im Krieg.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Ernest Chuard
Member of the Swiss Federal Council
Succeeded by
Max Petitpierre