A Jewish Man Left 2 Million Euros To A Village That Saved Him From Nazis

A Jewish Man Left 2 Million Euros To A Village That Saved Him From Nazis FI

An Austrian man left millions to a French village as a gesture of gratitude decades after residents took in his family during World War Two. We have heard many dreadful tales from the Holocaust survivors. But this story of a Jewish man will warm your heart.

According to The Guardian, Eric Schwam and his family arrived in Le Chambon-Sur-Lignon in 1943. They wanted to hide from the Nazis and that’s why, they stayed in a school for the duration of the war, and then stayed in the village through 1950.

Wikimedia Commons

Residents of the village took them in and hid them from a horrific fate. As The Guardian notes, they weren’t alone: Le Chambon-Sur-Lignon gave shelter to around 2,500 Jewish people during World War II.

And on a side note, the residents were honored as “Righteous Among the Nations” by Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Center.

This village has always been famous for its willingness to provide sanctuary to those in need, a reputation it has had for literally hundreds of years. (We stan that!)

Jewish man that hid in the school from Nazis

Haut Lignon

Isn’t it amazing to see how a village has time and again stood against tyranny and stood up for humanity? From priests who were forced to flee the French Revolution, to those siding with the Republic during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, and in recent years, migrants and refugees from Africa and the Middle East – all of them found refuge in this village.

Coming back to the story, after the 1950s, Eric Schwam studied pharmacy and married a Catholic woman from the region. To show his gratitude, Eric had made his decision to make the village the sole beneficiary, 78 years ago. 

Daily Mail

Schwam recently died at the age of 90, but he never forgot the town that kept him and his family safe. And upon his death, he donated €2 million to Le Chambon-Sur-Lignon.

The mayor had declined to specify the amount but the town’s deputy mayor Denise Vallet met with Schwam and his wife twice to discuss the gift, said it was around two million euros ($2.4 million).

He had only one request – “the money to be used for educational and youth initiatives, in particular scholarships.”

Also read: Puerto Rican Photographer Revisits Childhood Memories With A Mesmerizing New Ballet Photoshoot