Bruce Kogut, Professor of Leadership and Ethics at Columbia Business School, reflects on the legacy of President Jacques Chirac, especially his decision to recognize in 1995 the French role in the deportation of Jews in WWII.
Why Jacques Chirac Should Be Remembered
Our family lived in France in 1992–3 and then from 1999 to 2007, long enough to witness that the terrible 20th century was now history. France, it should be remembered, had one of the largest Jewish populations in the world and is even today the third largest home to Jews in the world. In that last decade of that century, Jacques Chirac publicly recognized the participation of the French in the German sweeps of Jewish homes and schools that led to the death of 76,000 people, many French citizens and many desperate refugees from the north and east of Europe.