In the summer of 2022, I was very proud to learn that the Government of France had named me to the Legion of Honor, its highest civilian award. This was particularly meaningful to me because in 2002 I had been awarded France’s other national honor, the National Order of Merit. The earlier award was for work I had done counseling France on issues remaining from the theft of Jewish assets during the Occupation, which led to the signing of a US/France executive agreement that facilitated prompt and total repayment. The new one was for my “second career” in teaching and writing about the criminal justice systems of France and the United States, and efforts to build the “bridges” between them.
In April 2023 the French Consulate in New York hosted a wonderful reception for the presentation of my new medal at which Loretta Lynch, former Attorney General, made some moving remarks. In May I hosted a separate – and equally enjoyable – reception in Paris at which my friends Antoine Garapon and Nathalie Roret made some very nice comments.