Exhibition Honors Muslims who Saved Jews from Nazi Persecution

November 1, 2007

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Haaertz

Wire Service: AP


A photography exhibition at Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial this week recognizes the little-known role played by European Muslims in helping Jews during World War II.

The exhibition at Israel's official Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem honors Albanians who sheltered Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution. Albania, a tiny European country with a Muslim majority, sheltered about 1,000 Jews who, with the exception of one family, survived Nazi occupation, according to officials.

"This is a very unique story," said Yehudit Shendar, the exhibition's curator. "Though Islam has an anti-Jewish image, these were Muslims who endangered their own lives to save Jews," she said. Six million Jews were killed by the Nazis during World War II.

Albanians sheltered between 600 and 1,800 Jewish refugees, risking death or imprisonment, officials said. At the end of the war, Albania was the only European country with a larger Jewish population than before the war.