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Stephan Lewy Awarded French Legion of Honor

June 26, 2014
Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur recipient Stephan Lewy
Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur recipient Stephan Lewy

Holocaust survivor, decorated US Army veteran, and 1909 Society member Stephan Lewy received the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur at the State House in Concord on July 7. France is awarding its highest decoration to Lewy for his military service during World War II.

Lewy, who lives now in Manchester, NH, was born in Berlin in 1925 and orphaned at the age of six. He lived in France from September 1939 to June 1942, when he was able to immigrate to the US. He joined the Army when he turned 18 and landed back in France shortly after D-Day in 1944. "I served as an order of battle specialist, interrogator, and translator under General Patton, and I received a bronze star and five campaign stars for participating in various European battles," Lewy recalled. "I am very proud and truly honored to have been selected to receive this prestigious award. I believe it will be an asset in the work I am currently doing. To me, this award symbolizes that we must never forget the dangers of hatred and the tragedies that occurred in Europe." Lewy's life is a fascinating story: read about it online, or see his testimony on video.

Lewy, who received the Susan J. Hermann Award for Leadership in Holocaust & Genocide Awareness in 2012, established the Lewy Family Fund, which supports the continuation of teaching regarding the Holocaust and other occurrences of genocide and provides support for presentations at the annual Kristallnacht Remembrance celebrations held each November in Keene. Lewy is also a dedicated supporter of the Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. "Stephan presents at our biennial summer institute, at our annual Kristallnacht Commemoration, and co-teaches an Ocher Lifelong Learning Institute course on the Holocaust with me," said Tom White, the Cohen Center's coordinator of educational outreach.