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A gesture of gratitude to the French village that had saved him and his family from Nazi persecution during the Second World War. Eric Schwam, an Austrian Jew who died at the age of 90 last Christmas, entered the small town of Chambon-sur-Lignon, in the Haute-Loire, in his will, allocating a sum that would have been quantified in about 2 million euros.
The inhabitants of the French town became famous during the conflict for having granted refuge to over 2,500 Jews fleeing the Nazi regime. “It is a large sum for the country,” said Mayor Jean-Michel Eyraud, refusing to specify the amount as the will is still being analyzed. His predecessor, however, told a local website that he had met with Schwam and his wife twice to talk about the donation, putting it at around two million.
The man and his family arrived in Chambon-sur-Lignon in 1943 and remained in hiding in a school for the duration of the conflict, then remaining in the country until 1950.
The first citizen reported that the man had asked that the donation be used for educational initiatives and dedicated to young people, in particular for the award of scholarships.