Building peace in the minds of men and women

UNESCO Honours Beate and Serge Klarsfeld, for their work to preserve the history and teaching of the Holocaust

26 October 2015

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, designated Serge and Beate Klarsfeld as UNESCO Honorary Ambassadors and Special Envoys for Education about the Holocaust and the Prevention of Genocide in a ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters on Monday 26 October 2015.

Ms Bokova gave a Diploma to the Franco-German couple stating that Serge and Beate Klarsfeld are named “in recognition of their commitment to reconciling justice and truth, their struggle to re-establish the individual identities of the victims of Nazism, their indefectible support for the cause of the descendants of deported Jews, through the activities of the Association of the Sons and Daughters of Jews deported from France, their wake-up call to societies to recognise their historical and moral responsibilities in the aftermath of the Second World War, and their dedication to the ideals of the Organization.” 

Born in 1935 in Bucharest, Romania, Serge Klarsfeld is a French writer, historian and lawyer, a voice of Jews who, like his own father Arno, were deported from France during World War II, and of their descendants. He has worked to revive the individual stories of the victims of Nazism, arguing that the holocaust is not the story of six million, but of 1+1+1+1+…

Equally committed to this cause, Beate Klarsfeld, née Beate Auguste Künzel in Berlin in 1939, is the daughter of a German soldier. However, Beate Klarsfeld argues she has “always acted as a German, never forgetting her historic and moral responsibility.”

President of the UNESCO General Conference Hao Ping joined the Director-General at the ceremony, which was also attended by a number of ambassadors, supporters, and friends and family of the Klarsfelds.