You think the Swiss Guard are in the Vatican for show, for old time’s sake? You think the Germans kept out of Switzerland because it was a banking center, a trade partner? The Germans were not dummies. The Swiss have had a reputation (and the Alps) since Caesar said the Helvetians (A Celtic tribe living in the Aar River Valley) were “the bravest and fiercest of the Gauls.” Their mercenaries were prized through the centuries (Louis XVI’s Swiss Guard died almost to a man defending him) until they were forbidden, except in the Vatican.

Yes, humankind learns (sometimes it takes centuries). Switzerland stayed neutral during World War II, and managed to save 20,000 Jews, Allied airmen, plus other refugees until they got nervous and closed their borders–shame on them. But peace has a price, as Americans well know.

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