So much for the myth that all Muslims hate Jews and want to exterminate them and are ‘facists’. A photograph exhibition is opening that honors Muslims who gave shelter to Jews fleeing Nazi persecution.
If a group of anti-Muslim bigots some time in the future decided to put all Muslims in concentration camps and exterminate us, I have no doubt that many good Americans would similarly give shelter to Muslims.
Tears welling in his eyes, an elderly Holocaust survivor on Thursday embraced the son of the Albanian man who saved him from the Nazi death camps, highlighting the little-known role played by European Muslims in helping Jews during World War II.
The two met for the first time at a photography exhibition at Yad Vashem, Israel’s official Holocaust memorial, honoring Albanians who sheltered Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution. Albania, a tiny European country with a Muslim majority, sheltered about 1,000 Jews who, except for 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.
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