Albanians’ strong traditions inspired them to save their nation’s Jews during the Holocaust. Albania, the only Muslim-majority country in Europe, was also the only European nation to emerge from the Holocaust with a larger Jewish population.
In 1943, when Refik Veseli, a photographer’s apprentice, smuggled his mentor Moshe Mandil and Mandil’s family across Albania to escape the Nazis, he didn’t see himself as particularly heroic.
Even in the darkest times, there are heroes—though sometimes they may be the people we least expect.
The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee Campus The event celebrates the rescue of thousands of European.
The Albanian Muslims truly live by the Quranic principle, which is also cited in the Talmud, “If one saved a life, it would be as if he saved all humanity.”
Albania and Israel have long discussed opportunities for co-operation in the fields of education, science.
In 1912, Jews participated in the struggle for independence. After 1928, when Albania became a monarchy, many Jews moved there from Greece, again especially from Ioannina. They included pharmacists, doctors and merchants. The 1930 census shows 204 Jews.
This article was published in the January/February 2006 issue of Congress Monthly, the magazine of the American Jewish Congress (New York, New York).
Avirama Golan 28.04.2009 March 1999. Within days, tens of thousands of Kosovars fleeing the heavy-handed.
The Federation, Jewish Communities of Western Connecticut, is playing host to the exhibit, called “BESA-A Code of Honor-Muslim Albanians Who Rescued Jews During the Holocaust.