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Evaluating the Swiss transitory labour contribution to Germany in the Second War

Golson, Eric (2013) Evaluating the Swiss transitory labour contribution to Germany in the Second War. Economic History working papers (174/13). Department of Economic History, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Histories of southern German firms during the Second World War suggest that Switzerland provided many highly-skilled labourers for Germany’s war effort, but no study has to date quantified these contributions. This paper examines the labour exchanges between the two countries, focusing on individuals working within a free movement and trade area in the border region of Switzerland and Germany. A maximum of 1,800 Swiss workers is ascertained to have worked in the German part of this area, representing 7.5% of the total labour force, 12% of the highly-skilled labour force and over 20% of the metal workers in the ten-kilometre German zone. Swiss contributions are somewhat offset by Germans working in the Swiss zone. Most importantly for Swiss neutrality, this papersuggests that, despite initially supportive increased labour transfers at the start of the war, the Swiss government sought from 1941 to prevent workers from transferring to Germany.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 The Author
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
JEL classification: N - Economic History > N1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Growth and Fluctuations > N14 - Europe: 1913-
N - Economic History > N4 - Government, War, Law, and Regulation > N44 - Europe: 1913-
N - Economic History > N7 - Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, Technology, and Other Services > N74 - Europe: 1913-
Sets: Departments > Economic History
Collections > Economists Online
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2013 17:05
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2021 00:25

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