His wife, 79-year-old Beate Klarsfeld, received the National Order of Merit in the same ceremony. The two have dedicated their lives to the fight against impunity for perpetrators of the Holocaust. Klarsfeld, 83, had already been decorated with a lower rank of the Legion of Honor in 2014.
A French Jew, he managed to escape the Gestapo in Nice in 1943. His father, Arno, was captured and deported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, where he died.