The National Order of the Legion of Honor is the highest decoration in France. It was established by Napoleon Bonaparte, the emperor of the French and an outstanding military leader, on May 19, 1802. The decoration is awarded to French nationals and foreigners who have made a unique and unusual contribution to France.
The recommendation to honor Klieger was submitted about a year ago by French sports daily "L'Equipe", where Klieger has worked as the Israeli correspondent since 1953, and French Senator Jean-François Lamour.
Sarkozy accepted the recommendations and decided to award Klieger with the important decoration. The president signed the decision himself, stating that he had decided to honor Klieger thanks to his immense activity for France and his important connection to the country.
Klieger, 85, was born in the French city of Strasbourg and has one daughter and three grandchildren. He has been a journalist for the past 66 years and a member of the Yedioth Ahronoth news desk for 55 years.
Klieger is a survivor of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. After the camp was liberated, he covered the trials of Nazi war criminals in Belgium, France and Germany. He immigrated to Israel in 1948.
As part of his journalistic work, he covered the Israeli trials of Adolf Eichmann and John Demjanjuk. He recently won two important life achievement awards.