Man leaves $2.4M to French village that hid household from Nazis

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Erich Schwam was 90 many years previous when he died on Xmas Day.

His ultimate reward is for the small French village that shielded his spouse and children for the duration of the Second Environment War.

Schwam, an Austrian Jew, was an adolescent when he arrived in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon in 1943 with his mother and father and grandmother. The family was from Vienna, exactly where Schwam’s father was a medical professional.

Le Chambon-sur-Lignon in southeast France has been identified for 400 yrs as a area where by the persecuted can find protection — a name that began when it was a protected haven for the Huguenots, French protestants fleeing religious persecution in the 17th Century.

Schwam and his relatives were being hoping to escape the Nazi sweep of Europe and the mass extermination of Jews.

They ended up in fact concealed by villagers in Chambon-sur-Lignon and survived the war. According to the BBC, Schwam’s mothers and fathers eventually returned to Austria, but he stayed in France to analyze at college in Lyon, the city wherever he met his long term spouse.

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He by no means forgot the kindness of the men and women of Chambon-sur-Lignon.  Many in the city of 2,500 risked their lives continuously in the course of the war to cover Jews, saving them from deportation and demise.

The persons of the village saved 3,000 Jews their effort and hard work all through the war has been regarded by Israel.

In his will, Schwam remaining a massive sum of money to the village as a thank you for saving him and his family approximately eight decades previously. He asked that the cash, reported to be about $2.4 million, be utilised for the reward of universities and to fund scholarships.

The amount of money was disclosed by a former mayor of the city.

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Chambon-sur-Lignon has the great geography for a refuge. The town is isolated and surrounded by forested locations, just the sort of seclusion a single would want in a place to conceal.

The BBC lists Pastor Andre Trocme and his spouse Magda as the religious leaders of Chambon’s resistance hard work in the course of the Second Planet War. He rallied the villagers to the induce, and to a person (and girl) the people saved their do the job a secret.

The penalty for helping Jews was deportation and/or death.

At Yad Vashem, Jerusalem’s World Holocaust Remembrance Middle, a plaque honours 40 folks from Chambon – including Andre and Magda Trocme – as Righteous Among the Nations for risking their life to preserve Jews for the duration of the Holocaust.