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January 27, 2011 9:12 am

Photographer Reveals how Muslims Saved Jews from the Nazis

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An audience in Wales will be told tonight of one of the most extraordinary acts of humanitarianism seen anywhere in wartime Europe – the rescue of 2,000 Jews from Nazi persecution by a group of Albanian Muslims. Martin Shipton reports

AN extraordinary and largely forgotten piece of history will be commemorated tonight when two Welsh communities come together to hear about a group of Muslims who rescued Jews from Nazi persecution.

American photographer Norman Gershman will be at Cardiff University to talk about his investigation into how the lives of 2,000 Jews were saved by Muslims in Albania in 1942 and 1943.

The event, hosted jointly by the Muslim Council of Wales and the university’s Jewish Society, is being seen as an historic occasion aimed at creating greater understanding between adherents of the two faiths in Wales.

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Gershman’s book Besa is named after the Albanian honour code which obliges individuals to protect anyone in danger, regardless of all religious and political affiliations.

He said: “When I first learned of the WWII rescue of Jews in Muslim Albania and Kosovo my reaction was visceral. Muslims who saved Jews?

“I must record this forgotten event with my camera and tell the story through the various family histories I was to meet.

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