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Jean-Marie MUSY (1876-1952)
President and Swiss  federal councillor

 Jean-Marie Musy HOME     Councilor     Parliament     Swiss Federal Council & President      Economic work
   Intervention to save Paris     Holocaust liberation       His Vision       Legacy     Albeuve - birthplace     Grandvillard

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  Intervention to save Paris (1944)

During the last weeks which preceded the liberation of Paris, General Von Choltitz had received the order from Hitler to burn Paris and destroy it, at the moment when the Allies would approach the French capital.

Mr. Pierre Taittinger, President of the Municipal Council of Paris had asked Mr. Musy,  and also Consul Nordling from Sweden to intervene. in order to preserve Paris from   an irreparable catastrophe.   Mr. Musy had several conversations with Mr. Abetz, the Reich Ambassador, Marshal Von Rudstedt and General Choltitz.   It was urgent to intervene and Jean-Marie Musy stressed many times to the Germans that decency demanded that the capital be spared from destruction.  If Paris were bombed, perhaps hundreds of thousands of defenseless men, women and children would be decimated.   Paris represents for all of the civilized world such a cluster of intellectual, religious, artistic and scientific values, that "no one has the right to  be disinterested with its fate."

And Paris was not destroyed !  In the final analysis, it was an immense effort accomplished by several men which saved Paris.

In the month of July 1944, "to thank Mr. Musy of his most precious assistance, the Municipal Council of Paris gave him a medal with the towers of Our Lady (Notre Dame), this heart of Paris which he helped us to save."

Jean-Marie Musy
Jean-Marie Musy Paris

     Holocaust rescue - liberation of 1,200 Jews  (1944-45)

In 1944, it was with a deep sentiment of humanity and Christian consideration that made him intervene on behalf of the Jews which were prisoners of the concentration camps in Germany.   The outcome of the heroic mission of Jean-Marie and his son Benoît was that more than 1,200 human lives were saved.

Mr. Musy had the courage to affirm during the apogee of the totalitarian governments "that the conception of the Swiss state rests, in the final analysis, on the respect for the human being."

Link:   Holocaust Rescuers - The  Mission  of Jean-Marie & Benoît Musy

 

liberation of 1,200 Jews

  His vision for Switzerland and Europe (post 1945)

The ex-president of the Swiss Confederation was fighting for the creation of a new Europe, whereby France and Germany would collaborate.  He thought that the understanding between the European countries was of vital importance to Switzerland.  Jean Musy said in 1943:  "I consider all of the wars which divide the European nations as civil wars, because the European people are brothers."  What are we waiting for to understand that, if we want to preserve Europe from a new war.... we have to solidly construct political peace on economic solidarity." 

He also added in 1943 that:  "If Europe does not realize the necessity of being united, given its current position, she will lose its importance at the profit of America whereby, one way or another, she will become vassal."  He fought all of his life against communism, and his principles were on liberty for all.

Jean-Marie Musy

Jean-Marie Musy was a  "European" with his broad views being able to surpass the politic of the day.    He said with a great clairvoyance that "Europe torn by quarrels would  lose by its own deed."

The vision that Jean-Marie Musy had over 50 years ago of a "United Europe" is today a reality through the European Community.  Most European nations are now united economically.  We hope that war will never return to Europe, and this will serve as a model to belligerent nations.

    Closing comments and Legacy

Jean Musy had imagination and dared to have the foresight to find new solutions while distancing himself from partisan politics or academic rigidity.  He was not afraid to affirm "one should not waste valuable time in a sterile contemplation of the past which will never return."   Through his oratory persuasion he dedicated himself to arduous battles and he acquired great prestige at the Swiss Federal government.

After the death of Jean-Marie Musy in 1952, the Federal Councillor Pierre Barras wrote about his compatriot  "He loved his country with all of the fibers of his being, as a sincere man.... Our Switzerland, he wanted it firmly governed, tranquil and prosperous by the virtues which were obtained from our land of Gruyère and to which he remained loyal all of his life."

Throughout his entire life, up to his last moment on earth, he remained a "man of the land", a Swiss who deeply loved his country and its people.

Gruyère - Switzerland

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