Israeli Ambassador in Albania Noah Gal Gendler speaks during inauguration of Holocaust memorial in Tirana, Albania
Israeli Ambassador in Albania Noah Gal Gendler speaks during inauguration of Holocaust memorial in Tirana, Albania
Photo: AP
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama speaks during inauguration of Holocaust memorial in Tirana, Albania

Albania Holocaust memorial honors locals who protected Jews

Israeli Ambassador praises Albania's example of protecting the Jewish community during world War II, 'it would be magnificent if more nations would learn this part of Albania'

Associated Press |
Published: 07.09.20 , 22:55
Albania unveiled a Holocaust memorial in the capital on Thursday to honor the dead and the Albanians who protected Jews from the Nazis.
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  • The marble memorial was put at an entrance to Tirana's Artificial Lake Park, close to Mother Teresa Square. The inscription was written in three languages - English, Hebrew, and Albanian - and it said that "Albanians, Christians and Muslims endangered their lives to protect and save the Jews."
    Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama speaks during inauguration of Holocaust memorial in Tirana, AlbaniaAlbanian Prime Minister Edi Rama speaks during inauguration of Holocaust memorial in Tirana, Albania
    Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama speaks during inauguration of Holocaust memorial in Tirana, Albania
    (Photo: AP)
    During the Holocaust, the Nazis killed 6 million Jewish people, but Albania was the only country where no Jews died or were handed over. Albanians protected their few hundred Jewish friends, and helped other Jews who fled from Germany and Austria by either smuggling them abroad or hiding them at home.
    "We are the only country with more Hebrews after World War II, where the Hebrews came in search of protection and salvation," Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said.
    Nazi German forces occupied Albania from September 1943 until November 1944, when they were pushed out by local communist partisans.
    U.S Ambassador to Albania Yuri Kim speaks during the inauguration of Holocaust memorial in Tirana, AlbaniaU.S Ambassador to Albania Yuri Kim speaks during the inauguration of Holocaust memorial in Tirana, Albania
    U.S Ambassador to Albania Yuri Kim speaks during the inauguration of Holocaust memorial in Tirana, Albania
    (Photo: AP)
    U.S. Ambassador Yuri Kim praised Albanians' "besa," or tradition of trust in rescuing Jews.
    A small Jewish community living in Albania left the ex-communist country for Israel just after the fall of the regime in 1991.
    Israeli Ambassador in Albania Noah Gal Gendler speaks during inauguration of Holocaust memorial in Tirana, AlbaniaIsraeli Ambassador in Albania Noah Gal Gendler speaks during inauguration of Holocaust memorial in Tirana, Albania
    Israeli Ambassador in Albania Noah Gal Gendler speaks during inauguration of Holocaust memorial in Tirana, Albania
    (Photo: AP)
    Israeli Ambassador Noah Gal Gendler highly praised Albania's example of protecting the Jewish community during the war.
    "An excellent example from a small country which highlights the values of humanity, sacrifice and love, values which still stand as fundamental in Albania," he said. "It would be magnificent if more nations would learn this part of Albania."
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