The Nazis never invaded Switzerland. Stephen P. Halbrook in The Swiss and The Nazis explains to readers that Switzerland had “a unique system in which every able-bodied man served in the army and was well trained in firearms. Every male on reaching the age of 19 was enrolled in the militia army and issued a military rifle to keep at home. The national sport was not skiing but shooting, and everyone, from teenagers to the elderly, was encouraged to participate. In Switzerland, not only was every able-bodied man enrolled in the militia army, even youngsters and old men were issued rifles.”
Sheriff Richard Mack in The Magic of Gun Control writes, “Hitler was unquestionably renowned for his devotion to gun registration and was an absolute gun control fanatic.” Aaron Zelman (JPFO) writes, “If every Jewish and anti-Nazi family in Germany had owned a Mauser rifle and twenty rounds of ammo and the will to use it Adolf Hitler would be a little-known foot note in the history of the Weimar Republic.”
America’s Founders knew this well. Richard Henry Lee in 1778 wrote, “To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of the people always posses Arms.” George Mason wrote, “To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them” Thomas Jefferson wrote, “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” Jefferson also wrote, “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as the last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”
Stephen Halbrook outlines the preparation of tiny Finland versus the Soviet Union in the 1939-40 Winter War. “The Finnish army, only half as numerous as Switzerland’s, held out for almost three and a half months against overwhelming Soviet forces. Like the Swiss, they had few equals in marksmanship. Russian paratroopers were shot in the air, and those that were missed were shot when they hit the ground. In those few months, Finnish sharpshooters killed or wounded astonishing numbers of Russian troops. In one battle, three Finns died against 1,000 Russians.”
As with the Finns, as Halbrook notes, “Marksmanship was a national obsession for the Swiss.”
Stephen Halbrook concludes, “How exactly tiny Switzerland stood down the Nazi monolith is a lesson worth remembering in the annuals of history. Switzerland and the U.S, share a common heritage. Both have been from the beginning independent republics.”
Originally posted January 14, 2013.