Intelligence services, spies, traitors to the nation and state security

9.1 Nachrichtendienste und Staatsschutz Bild Einleitung
Source: CH-BAR#J1.331-01#2005/337#6*

Intelligence services and state security have different tasks within the federal state. The texts in this chapter provide an overview of their historical development. The chapter also addresses the "Secret Files Scandal", one of the largest political affairs in recent Swiss history.

Jean-Louis Jeanmaire is Switzerland's most infamous spy. Sentenced to 18 years' imprisonment in 1977 by a military court, he fought in vain for his rehabilitation until his death in 1992. The affair was even made the topic of a theatrical performance. In Urs Widmer's play "Jeanmaire. Ein Stück Schweiz" from 1992, a federal councillor says to the Attorney General and secret service chief: "Gentlemen, the enemy does not sleep. We will put shackles on international terrorism. We will cut the enemy within down to size. We will comprehensively develop the registration of extremists. There will be no more extreme left-wing teachers, no communist revenue officers. […] We are on the right path."

The Attorney General and secret service police embody the highest echelons of state security and intelligence services in Switzerland. Intelligence services have the task of procuring and evaluating information, also that received through the use of secret means and methods. State security, on the other hand, is concerned with defending the nation against espionage by foreign intelligence services. The following texts provide an overview of the historical development of the intelligence services and state security in the federal state – and also describe the "Secret Files Scandal", one of the largest affairs in recent Swiss history.

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Last modification 15.12.2015

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