Greeks sent Jews to the extermination camps, the Albanians protected them with their life

Greeks sent Jews to the extermination camps, the Albanians protected them with their life
Jewish family in Albania in 1943

 The Albanian history is glorious. The values of our people are special and highly valued by foreigners. Undoubtedly one of the brightest page of Albanian History is the hospitality that Albanians made to Jews. Protecting them also with their own life by the time of German invasion. The story of their arrival in Albania is really interesting.

According to historical records, Jews appeared in Albanian lands in the Middle Ages. But the latest archaeological evidence shows that they may have come earlier. Probably sooner than their expulsion from Spain in 1492.

At the end of the 19th century, a Jewish group from Thessaloniki came to Albania, who settled in the coastal cities. But the Jews over time broke into other important Albanian cities such as Gjirokastra, Korca, Fier, etc., where they gained all the rights as citizens of Albania, and adopted Albanian language and dooms, melting with the local population.

There were Jewish afflux also in 1915 and 1925. The reason for their arrival was as a result of a suburb and a part of them as a fugitive.

The suffering of this people took on terrible proportions after the entry into force of fascism in the Balkan countries. So the Jews of these countries, especially those of Yugoslavia, sought to come to Albania.

Based on documents found in Albania there were 597 Jews, of which 121 came in 1941-1942 and the rest in 1943.

And here is worth mentioning a very interesting fact. They knew that in Albania they would find again a country invaded by fascists. What prompted this persecuted population to believe in Albanians? According to all the evidence they hoped to the hospitality and support of the Albanian people.

And so it was. Even though Jews were always considered to be very rich, at that time they were very poor. Almost everyone was in a difficult economic situation. But as always, the generosity and hospitality of the Albanian people came to the aid. People with special humanity and traditional hospitality.

But above all a brave people. A people that protected its friend with its life. In our country then occupied by the Nazifas, many orders and decrees were issued for the persecution of the Jews. The controls that were carried out in the home, the surveillance was strict, but in any case the Albanian people did not let Jews down. Rather, they defended them with confidence and pride, risking at any moment also their life. Because such was in Albanian character.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs requested from all prefectures where the Jews were concentrating that they should be removed from the Albanian land within five days. All Albanians were asked to investigate and give details if there were Jews sheltered. But in no case was there any Jewish denounced because they are defended by the Albanian people.

Having a common enemy of Nazism, the Jews took the side of the Albanian people in the fight against Nazi-fascism.

The special welcome made by Albanians to the Jews, this people who in its history have experienced the worst holocaust in history, never forgot what the Albanian people did for them.

In a greeting letter to the Jewish people, it is written: "In the history of this world war there will remain a small, but generous and heroic people, the Albanian people, who will be marked as the only one of the occupied peoples of Europe that hindered and prevented the extermination and pursuit of the Jews."

But not the same picture happened in neighboring Greece. Exactly on March 25, 1944 is the darkest day of Greeks in the Balkans. German troops, with the help of Greek gendarmerie troops, Greek security battalions, directly commanded by Quisling Prime Minister Joan Ralli, sailed around 1,725 men, women, old men and children of the Jewish community, who had been assembled from all over Greece to two centers. They were Jews, who for centuries lived there. Within a day, the Greeks, in cooperation with the Nazis, embarked them to the extermination camps. According to witnesses and documents of the time there was no reaction from the local government or by the Greek population. The entire operation was associated that day by local police and the German army.

Extracted by the book of Prof. Shaban Sinani: History of Albania, History of Jews in Albania/Oculus News

Greeks sent Jews to the extermination camps, the Albanians protected them with their life Greeks sent Jews to the extermination camps, the Albanians protected them with their life Saturday, July 01, 2017 Rating: 5
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