An exhibition which focuses on Albanian Muslims’ efforts to save Jews in the Holocaust was put on display at yesterday’s Board of Deputies meeting.
The Yad Vashem exhibition, entitled ‘Love Your Neighbour’, was show in the presence of Albanian Ambassador Qirjako Qirko, giving Deputies from around the country the opportunity to discover about the acts of bravery by Muslim Albanians during the Second World War during the Nazi Occupation.
In his speech, Mr Qirko told the meeting: “The history of protection of the Jewish population in Albania is exceptional, an excellent example of humanity and a lesson for the future generations.”
He added: “Albanians chose not to stay indifferent during the unprecedented atrocities of the Holocaust. They chose the right side, the side of life.”
Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl said: “This is an important exhibition which celebrates the heroism of Muslim Albanians who rescued Jews during the Holocaust. It is a little known history and one which we are happy to be able to share with our Deputies, who can take these stories back their communities all around the country. These acts of heroism are a model for how Muslims and Jews ought to coexist today, challenging antisemitism and anti-Muslim hatred together.”
Yad Vashem UK Foundation Chairman Simon Bentley said: “Yad Vashem, as the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre, is committed to honouring non-Jews who have risked their lives to save Jews during the Shoah. The BESA exhibition highlights these Righteous Among the Nations by focusing on the Albanian Muslims who saved hundreds of Jewish lives during the Holocaust.”
Photo: Albanian Ambassador Qirjako Qirko speaks to Deputies at Sunday’s meeting