An Austrian man bequeaths €2m to the French village that helped him to hide his family from persecution. Eric Schwan and his family fled the Nazis during the Second World War when his family was in danger.
Eric Schwam died at the age of 90, however, before his death; he included a surprise gift for Le Chambon-Sur-Lignon in his will. Le Chambon-Sur-Lignon is located in south-east France and is known for providing shelter to people in need.
Jean-Micheal Eyraud, the mayor of the village, said that the gift is a huge amount for the village. He refused to announce the specific amount since they are still sorting the will.
However, Eyraud’s predecessor maintained that the gift was nearly €2m since she met Schwam and his wife before Schwan passed away to discuss the gift.
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Schwam and his family got to the French village in 1943 and hid in a school during the war until 1950. He ended up studying pharmacy and got hitched with a Catholic woman from the region.
As this Austrian man bequeaths €2m to the village, Eyraud maintains that Schwam wanted the money to be used for scholarships and also help youth initiatives.
During the war, Le Chambon-Sur-Lignon protected about 2,500 jews. The village has housed a wide range of people that fled from political or religious persecution over the years.
Even priests during the civil war of the 1930s took refuge in this village. Refugees and migrants now seek refuge in this village.