Friends  |  Press Room  |  Contact Us

Press Room

Yad Vashem Presents Lexicon to French President

23 February 2003

 Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate and Nissim Zvili, Israeli Ambassador to France toast the publication of Yad Vashem's new <i>Dictionnaire des Justes de France</i> at the residence of Israeli Ambassador to France. Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate and Nissim Zvili, Israeli Ambassador to France toast the publication of Yad Vashem's new Dictionnaire des Justes de France at the residence of Israeli Ambassador to France.
(from left) Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate, Nissim Zvili, Israeli Ambassador to France and Roger Cukierman, President of CRIF celebrate the publication of Yad Vashem's new <i>Dictionnaire des Justes de France</i> at a special event at the residence of Israeli Ambassador to France. (from left) Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate, Nissim Zvili, Israeli Ambassador to France and Roger Cukierman, President of CRIF celebrate the publication of Yad Vashem's new Dictionnaire des Justes de France at a special event at the residence of Israeli Ambassador to France.

On Wednesday, February 26, Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate presented Yad Vashems new Dictionnaire des Justes de France, co-published by Edition Fayard, to French President, Jacques Chirac. The presentation took place at 12:15 at Elysee Palace. In attendance were Israeli Ambassador to France, Nissim Zvili, President of the French Society for Yad Vashem, Dr. Richard Prasquier, President of Consistoir Central, Jean Kahn, and Holocaust survivor and close friend of Yad Vashem, Maxi Librati.

A special event took place for the publication of the Lexicon on Tuesday, February 25, at 20:30 at the residence of Israeli Ambassador to France, Nissim Zvili. In attendance were Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate, Dr. Richard Prasquier, President of the French Society for Yad Vashem, Joseph Sitruck, Chief Rabbi of France, Roger Cukierman, President of CRIF, Jean Kahn, President of Consistoir Central.

The Dictionnaire des Justes de France contains 1,200 entries.

The volume contains a comprehensive introduction, a summary of the series and the individual rescue stories of the French Righteous Among the Nations. Also included in the Lexicon are an index for cross-referencing, maps, a glossary and pictures.

Additional Lexicons include Holland, Poland, and Central & Western Europe and the Rest of the World. Nearly ten thousand entries cover all of the Righteous to date. There are over nineteen thousand registered, but as several of them are couples, they appear in one entry.

The Righteous Among the Nations, in putting their lives at risk and in many cases those of their families, to save Jews for no altruistic motive whatsoever but simply because it was the right thing to do demonstrated the highest standards of ethical and moral behavior. In, 1953 the Knesset (Israeli parliament) established the Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance (Yad Vashem) Law, giving particular emphasis in the law "to commemorate the high-minded Gentiles who risked their lives to save Jews".

Yad Vashem, being legally empowered by the State of Israel, is the only body that gives official recognition to those who saved Jewish lives on behalf of the Jewish people.