Eric Schwam of Austria, who died aged 90 on December 25, bequeathed a large part of his fortune to the French village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon whose residents hid much of his family during WWII, according to an AFP report.
The village, located on a remote mountain plateau in south-east France, is a Protestant community that was known for hiding others and giving shelters to those in need.
Schwam and his extended family arrived to the village in 1943, remaining there throughout the war until 1950.
Schwam later studied pharmacology and married a Catholic woman. He asked that the money provided be used for educational purposes and youth initiatives.
Some 2,500 Jews were taken in by the French village and protected during the course of the war, whose residents were later honored as “Righteous Among the Nations” by Yad Vashem in Israel.
Prior to WWII, the village also took in priests fleeing the French Revolution and refugees from the Spanish Civil War.