Swiss historian Hans Fässler and dozens of Swiss public figures created a committee that makes the case for slavery reparations in the context of Switzerland. They claim that Switzerland participated in and profited from the system of trans-Atlantic slavery, and they demand reparations for its descendants.
Supporters of the Swiss Committee on Slavery Reparations believe that reparations must be negotiated through dialogue between those who benefited from the transatlantic slave trade and the descendants of the victims, SwissInfo.ch reported.
“The centuries-old human crime of slavery within the framework of the exploitation of the American colonies by Europe demands recognition as well as non-material and material reparation,” the group argues. “This also applies to Switzerland, which as a social, economic, ideological and cultural area participated in and profited from this system from the 16th to the 19th century.”
Swiss trading companies, banks, city-states, family businesses, mercenary contractors, and private individuals profited from the slave trade. “For example, between 1719 and 1734, the city-state of Bern, as well as two banking houses ‘Malacrida’ and ‘Samuel Muller’, held shares in the speculative South Sea Company which kept slave deposits on Barbados and shipped some 20,000 slaves from Africa to the New World,” SwissInfo.ch reported.
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