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A tribute to the Klarsfeld spouses and their combat to preserve the memory of the Holocaust

Information updated on 16/12/19

Montpellier’s City Hall welcomes the exhibition dedicated by the Holocaust Memorial to an exceptional couple, Beate and Serge Klarsfeld, and their “Combats for memory” from 1968 to 1978.

Serge et Beate Klarsfeld©Elie Kagan - collection Serge Klarsfeld

Serge and Beate Klarsfeld ©Elie Kagan - Serge Klarsfeld collection

An exceptional destiny and ten flagship years of a combat that led to the 1980 conviction in Cologne, Germany, of the main Nazis responsible for the “final solution”, creating a turning point in public opinion regarding the Holocaust in France and around the world. Their combat is presented in the exhibition dedicated to Beate and Serge Klarsfeld at Montpellier City Hall from November 4 to January 3.

Inaugurated in late 2017 at the Holocaust Memorial, the exhibition is part of a dual commemoration. 

It celebrates the 50th anniversary of the moment Beate Klarsfeld slapped West German chancellor Kurt Kiesinger, formerly in charge of Hitler’s radio propaganda; and the 40th anniversary of Serge Klarsfeld’s publication of the Memorial to the Jews Deported from France,” explains Olivier Lalieu, curator of the exhibition.

A tribute to Montpellier’s Michel Soulas, Serge Klarsfeld’s half-brother

The exhibition covers a broader period, beyond that specific decade. “We look back at their childhood and adolescence, when they met, and the first observations that led to the slap,” explains Olivier Lalieu.

To document the exhibition in a unique manner, the Holocaust Memorial worked with personal aspects regarding the Klarsfelds, combining their public and private lives, including documents, photographs, objects, medals, clothing, and more.

Our goal was to also show the normal side of these exceptional people, to represent their humanity and make them present in the exhibition,” confides the historian.

Serge and Beate Klarsfeld are already citizens of honor in Montpellier, which they visited several times for public events. They will be present on November 28 to inaugurate the exhibition. One hour earlier, the City of Montpellier will have inaugurated an alley named after Michel Soulas.

An elected municipal official from 1989 to 2001, Michel Soulas was also Serge Klarsfeld’s half-brother,” adds Olivier Lalieu.

Just like the Klarsfeld spouses, Michel Soulas – who passed away in 2016 – never stopped fighting against all types of discrimination.
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