Saved from the Nazi leaves €2 million inheritance to French village

90-year-old man dies and leaves 2 million euros as an inheritance to the village that saved him from the Nazis.

A gesture of gratitude towards the French village that had saved him and his family from Nazi persecution during World War II.  Eric Schwam, an Austrian Jew who died at the age of 90- years-old this past Christmas, has included in his will the small town of Chambon-sur-Lignon, in the upper Loire (a hilly region in south- central France), allocating a sum that would be quantified in about 2 million euros.

The inhabitants of the French town became famous during the conflict for granting refuge to more than 2,500 Jews fleeing the Nazi regime.  "It's a large sum for the village," said Mayor Jean-Michel Eyraud, declining to specify the amount since the will is still being analyzed.  His predecessor, however, had told a local website that he met with Schwam and his wife twice to talk about the donation, quantifying it at about two million.

The man and his family arrived in Chambon-sur-Lignon in 1943 and remained hidden in a school for the duration of the conflict, eventually staying in the village until 1950.

The Mayor reported that the man had asked that the donation be used for educational initiatives and dedicated to young people, in particular for the allocation of scholarships.

Ph: Aranami /

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