(JTA) –A French Nazi-hunting couple will work as genocide-prevention ambassadors for the United Nations’ education agency.
Serge and Beate Klarsfeld were recognized on Monday by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for their work to call “societies to recognize their historical and moral responsibilities.”
They will contribute to UNESCO’s efforts to curb genocide in places such as the Middle East and Africa, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.
“You have done more than hand out justice, you gave a name, a face and a unique story to those whom some aimed to wipe from the surface of the earth,” said Irina Bokova, UNESCO’s director general.
Serge Klarsfeld, 80, a French Holocaust survivor and historian, and German-born Beate, 76, created a database from documents from around the world that has helped convict multiple Nazi war criminals. They also founded the Sons and Daughters of Jewish Deportees from France association, for descendants of Jews displaced or deported during the German occupation of France.
The Klarsfelds tracked down infamous Nazi Klaus Barbie, known as the “Butcher of Lyon” for torturing prisoners while stationed in Lyon, in Bolivia and spearheaded his extradition to France in 1983.
Earlier this year, the couple won France’s Legion of Honour award and the Order of Merit award from Germany, the country’s highest honour.