Meeting room at the Federal Palace West Wing dedicated to Carl Lutz

Press releases, 12.02.2018

The west wing of the Federal Palace is where FDFA senior management meet – the nerve centre of Swiss foreign policy. A room here has been named 'Carl Lutz' in honour of the department's former diplomat who helped save the lives of tens of thousands of Jews in Budapest during the Second World War. A ceremony has been held to mark the occasion, introduced by FDFA head Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis.

Federal Councillor Cassis shakes hands with Agnes Hirschi.
FDFA head Ignazio Cassis opens the inauguration ceremony at the Federal Palace West Wing. © FDFA

The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) has chosen 12 February 2018 – exactly 43 years after the death of Carl Lutz – to commemorate the joint initiative he led in Hungary over 70 years ago. The main meeting room in the Federal Palace West Wing is now called the Carl Lutz Room in his honour. This is where FDFA senior management and staff hold their meetings and where Switzerland's key foreign policy decisions are made.

'This room is dedicated to all staff members of the department who, like Carl Lutz, Harald Feller, Gertrud Lutz-Fankhauser, Ernst Vonrufs and Peter Zürcher in Budapest in 1944–1945, acted with great humanity that serves to inspire us all.' This text underscores the importance the Swiss diplomatic service places on finding inspiration in the values of humanity and courage that drove Lutz and his colleagues.

The commemorative plaque, which also bears the names of four other Swiss nationals who worked alongside Lutz and received the Righteous Among the Nations award, was unveiled in the meeting room. Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis spoke at the inauguration ceremony, which was attended by representatives of the Lutz, Feller, Vonrufs and Zürcher families.

Over the past 30 years, the FDFA has supported various activities (exhibitions, books, memoirs, etc.) honouring the memory of Carl Lutz and his colleagues. This most recent act of recognition was organised as part of Switzerland's chairmanship of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), which ends on 6 March 2018. One of the objectives of the IHRA is to promote Holocaust education and the remembrance of its victims at commemorative sites.

Further information:

Switzerland's chairmanship of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in 2017
A web app and new book about Carl Lutz: Switzerland supports projects that use witnesses to teach young people about the Holocaust
“Switzerland and its 'heroes': a homage to Carl Lutz - an article by Carl Lutz's adopted daughter on the FDFA blog

Carl Lutz plaque(pdf, 185kb)

Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: +41 58 462 31 53
Fax: +41 58 464 90 47


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

Last update 26.01.2022

Start of page