|From a French correspondent to The Jewish Tribal Review:
"The richest person in France is Liliane Bettencourt, owner of L'Oreal.
In a new book 'La Saga des Bettencourt. L'Oreal, une fortune francaise" (author: Bruno Abescat; editor: PLON, 2002) we learn that:
'After her death, her daughter, Francoise, will inherit her fortune. Francoise is the wife of Jean-Pierre Meyers, the grand son of a rabin [rabbi] who died in Auschwitz.'
Liliane Bettencourt's father, Eugenge Schueller, who founded L'Oreal, was an activist in a pre-WWII right nationalist political group, with anti-semite ideas.
U.S. Urged to Bar Frenchman for War Deeds,
klarsfeld.org (originally from the New York Times, February 22, 1995
"A former French Resistance fighter and a veteran Nazi hunter are urging that a wealthy French industrialist be barred from the United States because he wrote anti-Semitic propaganda during the Nazi occupation. The Justice Department is reviewing the allegations against the industrialist, Andre Bettencourt, a French Senator and former Cabinet minister who recently resigned as deputy chairman of the cosmetics giant L'Oreal. At a news conference yesterday in Manhattan, the Nazi hunter Serge Klarsfeld and a former Resistance fighter, Jean Frydman, said they were pressing their case in the United States because there was no legal mechanism in France for prosecuting Mr. Bettencourt for writing propaganda. The accusations against Mr. Bettencourt, who is 75, first surfaced in French newspapers ... 'I have repeatedly expressed my regrets concerning them in public and will always beg the Jewish community to forgive me for them,' he said in an apology issued yesterday. From 1940 to 1942, Mr. Bettencourt wrote more than 60 articles for La Terre Francaise, a newspaper that flourished with German financing during me occupation of France. In a special Easter issue in 1941, he described Jews as 'hypocritical Pharisees' whose 'race has been forever sullied by the blood of the righteous. They will be cursed' ... 'After these terrible findings in October, we knew we were talking about a Nazi collaborator who is a very powerful man in France,' Mr. Frydman said, adding, 'We are going to show him that there is no amnesty for the past.' Mr. Bettancourt was awarded the Croix de Guerre and a Resistance medal after the war. He is also a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, considered one of France's highest honors ... In resigning from L'Oreal as a deputy chairman in December, Mr. Bettencourt cited his age. But French newspapers have reported that he stepped down because of publicity about his pro-Nazi past. Mr. Bettencourt's son-in-law, Jean-Pierre Meyers, who is Jewish, succeeded him as deputy chairman. Mr. Bettencourt remains the chairman of Gesparal, the holding company that owns 53.7 percent of L'Oreal. The cosmetics company was formed by his father-in-law, Eugene Schueller."
Forbes, November 27, 2000
"L'Oréal was started in 1907 when a brilliant French chemist, Eugène Schueller, created one of the first stable synthetic hair dyes. By the 1930s he had also invented a suntan oil and the first mass-market shampoo made without flaky soap. But Schueller also had an evil side. According to the historian Michael Bar-Zohar, Schueller backed a fascist group eventually known as La Cagoule (The Cowl), named after the red hoods that its members wore to hide their identities; its leaders frequently met at L'Oréal's headquarters on the rue Royale in the 1930s ... Schueller financed Resistance activities toward the end of the war and managed to squeak through without a criminal record; he ran L'Oréal until his death in 1957. His daughter, Liliane Bettencourt, became the company's major shareholder, while the new CEO, François Dalle, launched such products as Ellnet hair spray, taking L'Oréal into everything from tampons to film distribution. Toward the end of his career, however, Dalle had a bitter falling-out with his film executive, Jean Frydman. Frydman in the early 1990s exposed Schueller's past and dug up one stunning revelation after another, among them that the chairman of L'Oréal's U.S. operations (who died in 1991) was a jack-booted war criminal who served five years of a ten-year prison sentence for his leadership role in La Cagoule and the MSR. Frydman also turned up the fact that Senator André Bettencourt, Liliane's husband, had written several articles for a Nazi propaganda organ during the war. Not all the revelations involved the past. To avoid being blackballed over its Helena Rubinstein subsidiary, L'Oréal kowtowed to the Arab Boycott Bureau. Allegations of anti-Semitism, hiding fascists and pandering to Arab racism shook L'Oréal to the core. New York's [Jewish] Mayor Koch called for a boycott of L'Oréal; the U.S. Commerce and Justice Departments began investigations ... In 1994 Senator Bettencourt, then 75, resigned from the L'Oréal board and turned his seat over to his Jewish son-in-law, Jean-Pierre Meyers, who had lost both his parents in Auschwitz. In 1997 the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America gave L'Oréal its International Leadership Award."