Saying that the dark history of the Holocaust “must be remembered,” French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur announced this week that France will contribute about $2 million to the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation to help with preservation efforts at the site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi concentration camps.
Balladur announced the donation by the French government during the annual dinner of CRIF, the umbrella organization of French Jewish communal organizations.
Balladur also announced that he will ask the French parliament to strengthen legislation against racist and anti-Semitic acts. He also stated that France and Israel will expand their economic and cultural ties.
During his speech, Balladur praised CRIF President Jean Kahn for his contributions to the fight against racism and anti-Semitism. Kahn, who is also president of the European Jewish Congress, was appointed earlier this year to head a European Union committee investigating racism and xenophobia.