Besa - Muslims Who Saved Jews In WW II
REVIEW by Willard Manus
"Yad Vashem, the Jerusalem-based Holocaust memorial, honors more than twenty-two thousand non-Jewish rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust as Righteous Among the Nations. Of these, most are Christians. Also included, however, is a small contingent of Muslim rescuers from Albania and nearby regions," writes Mordecai Paldiel in the foreword to BESA--MUSLIMS WHO SAVED JEWS IN WORLD WAR II, published by Syracuse University Press.
The book is the work of photographer Norman H. Gershman who, over a five-year period, visited many of the Albanian Muslim families who risked their lives during WW II to hide Jews from the Nazi death squads operating in the Balkans. "His encounters with the good nature of these inhabitants has had a profound impact on Norman," Paldiel adds. "He is a changed man, and his book is a testimony to the faith and commitment of these rescuers to the values of humanity. He has since enlarged his initial investigation...to include rescuers during the same period in Kosovo, a region still troubled by internecine warfare and claiming a sizable Muslim population."