Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Albanians saving Jews in WW2 - 'BESA' honor-code Is Albanian, NOT "Islamic" - CNN Twists facts (PC)

Posted on 08/06/2012 10:29:36 AM PDT by Milagros

Unlike CNN who twists facts for PC sake and tries to embed -falsely- BESA with Islam...


First, the facts, true, the Albanians who saved Jews from the Holocaust, were/are heroes!!!

The Jewish Chronicle - Besa
by Toby Tabachnick
Staff Writer

When Norman Gershman told his friend, fellow photographer Stuart Huck, that he was traveling to Albania to shoot pictures of righteous people, Huck was happy to offer advice about what photographic gear to take on the trip.

But when Gershman mentioned that the righteous people he wanted to photograph were Muslims, "my ears perked up," Huck said.

Huck will be delivering the keynote address at the opening of the photographic exhibit "Besa: Albanian Muslims Who Saved Jews During the Holocaust," Monday, Oct. 3, at the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill. The exhibit will display 41 of the original photographs of those Albanian families who provided a safe haven for Jews during World War II, sometimes putting their own lives in danger by doing so. Accompanying those photographs are short narratives about the rescuers and the rescued.

"I thought it was timely," said Huck about his decision to join the Albanian project, which began in 2002, and continued over the course of the next six years. "At the time, Muslims were being vilified in the press, and I thought it was important that the other side of the story be told."

The culmination of Gershman's and Huck's seven trips to Albania is chronicled in the book "Besa: Muslims Who Saved Jews in World War II." The photographs contained in the book are mostly of descendants of those Albanians who sheltered Jews during the Holocaust, accompanied by their recollections of what their families did in the tradition of besa, the ancient Albanian code of honor originating in the Kanun of Lek.

Besa is an integral part of Albanian tradition, and is adhered to not only by Albanian Muslims, but also those of the Orthodox and Catholic faiths. It mandates taking care of those in need and being hospitable.

Gershman and Huck photographed Albanians of all faiths, but Gershman chose to include only Muslim Albanians in his book because "whoever heard of a Muslim saving a Jew?" he told The Chronicle during an interview in 2009.

While only 200 Jews lived in Albania before the war, there were 3,000 living there by its conclusion, Huck said. Albania's King Zog instructed all his country's foreign embassies to provide a visa to any Jew wishing to immigrate, and Albania was the only country in Europe that had more Jews at the end of the war than at the beginning.

"It was a really, really amazing thing that happened in Albania in World War II," Huck said. "In every case, the door was opened. It's just a phenomenal story. And this is just what Albanians do. It's just who they are."

Huck will provide back-stories to some of photographs at his presentation Monday night.

"The stories are fascinating," he said. "Each one is a wonder, but to the Albanians, it's completely normal. In my mind, this is what I hope we would all do, but I'm not sure we would. Here, everybody did the right thing. It gives you hope for mankind."

The exhibit and its accompanying events are sponsored by the American Jewish Museum, along with the Holocaust Center of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee...

Then, on August 2012, Laura Koran tries to embed Besa with Koran...

Documentary seeks to explain why Albanians saved Jews in Holocaust By Laura Koran, CNN

The other facts:

1) BESA is NOT "islamic."

2) ALL/any Albanians tried to save the 200 Jews.

By: Saimir Lolja
The Albanian Besa - the Golden Rule
Faith revelation
The social behavior towards the total rescue of Jews during the holocaust, and in similar cases as well, did not come from religious pulses. All religious Albanian domains acted and cooperated to save Jews and the rescuers were from the whole population. This mirrors the 23788 persons from 45 countries and with different spiritual backgrounds that have been recognized (by the end of 2010) as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem for their heroic deeds in saving Jews during the holocaust. Therefore, emphasizing Moslem Albanians and not the Albanian people as a whole in saving Jews does give only a portion of the whole picture and does not fully explain the Albanian social conduct. For those who are in lack of full knowledge of the Albanian history and culture, and the story of Jews rescued in Albania before and throughout WW2, the hearing of "Moslem Albanians saved Jews" simply puzzles or biases their minds. For Albanians, the religion is neither a representative platform nor a unifying one. Therefore, the use of religion (a personal belief) to explain such a social behavior for the entire Albanian population does not suit to the Albanian case.

In the period of WW2, the education level of the Albanian population, including the majority of the rescuers, was low and the focus was only on the Albanian language. It was unlikely that people of that time read religious bibles, including Koran printed in non-Albanian languages (e.g. Arabic or Old Turkish in Arabic letters). Hence, it was unlikely that the Albanian rescuers acted to save Jews and Italians inspired on "a Besa found in Koran"; at least, there is no Besa in Koran and no reason to be. The Albanian loyalty to a community was sociological rather than pious. Religious identity was something that came from one’s kinship and family. Inter-faith marriages were not implausible and today they are common.

After WW2, the education spread onto the Albanian population through a communist filter. For half a century, the communist propaganda squeezed the minds of people (including the children of the rescuers) and they got older with minds filled with communist propaganda. After 1990, those children of the rescuers still alive were exhausted and too old to read or understand any religious book. Therefore, any saying such as "There is no Koran without Besa and no Besa without the Koran" is not accurate. What is correct is that the Kanun and Besa bond together unbreakably.


Kanuni i Leke Dukagjinit
Besa is an Albanian word. Foreigners say Albania instead of Shqipëria, the language Albanian instead of Shqip, and people Albanians instead of Shqiptarë (in the Albanian language). The Albanian language (Shqip) is the oldest language in Europe and it is at the root of the tree of all Euro-Indian languages. Besa is a noble principle that has originated from the soil of Albanians. It cannot be born on a desert.

Besa cannot be found in the Koran and does not belong to it, because it is the fundamental part of the Kanun. The Kanun is a very old protocol for the Albanian society. The concept of the Guest, and not of that of the foreigner, does exist in the Kanun. For example, The Book 8, Chapter 18 of the Kanun writes: "The house of an Albanian belongs to God and to the guest… Every guest must be given the food eaten in the house…. The guest must give you the weapon to hold as a sign of guardianship, since after you have said Welcome, he must have no fear and know that you are ready to defend him against any danger". The Kanun is principally a collection of Albanian traditional laws that regulate all aspects of conduct within one’s family, village, clan, with members of other clans, and with strangers. The Kanun has been the foundation of Albanian society for centuries. The author of the Kanun is Lekë Dukagjini, an Albanian knight and a Catholic prince living about 500 years ago, before Ottomans conquered the Albanian lands. He fought against Ottoman occupiers both under the command of George Castrioti Scanderbeg, the Albanian national hero and a European figure, and later after his death in 1468.
BESA the Golden Rule

Besa is the Golden Rule and it is sacred by the Kanun. The Golden Rule or the Ethic of Reciprocity requires to "treat others the way you would like to be treated", because "Noblesse oblige". Besa is similar to another example of the Golden Rule: "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn. -Talmud, Shabbat 31a, the Great Principle".

And of course, we should all remember the atroceous supreme Islam leader, the pan-Arab, pan-Islam ruler: The Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-husseini

Supreme Islam leader in palestine Haj Amin al–Husseini Grand Mufti:

- Hitler's ally, (together with his aid and henchman A. Shukairy* - who would --some two decades later-- become the first PLO chairman) aided Eichmann on his extermination program*, visited Auschwitz* in 1944* and urged at the German Nazis to speed up the extermination* *

- He intervened to STOP the saving of children -destined to Palestine- from being burned in Auschwitz... The Mufti also "founded" the entire Arab-Israeli conflict*

- He ignited the massacre in Hebron 1929*

- Termed in 1938: 'the Hitler of the Near East'*

- Incited the Farhud pogrom 1941 in Iraq*

- Behind the pro-Hitler Coup d'Etat of Raschid Ali; called (May, 1941) for a "holy war"* * against the British and FOR the Nazis. So did much of the wider Muslim clergy in that country *

- Led in 1943 (and on) Muslim-Nazi divisions* to commit atrocities against Serbs in the Balkans. Visiting these troops, he was frequently praying with them, exhorting them to fight for Allah.*

- In 1948, he appealed to the Arabs in Palestine to evacuate...* *

- Together with his buddy Eichmann, he plotted the anti-Jewish pogrom in Egypt, 1948*

KEYWORDS: albanians; besa; holocaust; ww2

1 posted on 08/06/2012 10:29:46 AM PDT by Milagros
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Milagros

Gershman and Huck photographed Albanians of all faiths, but Gershman chose to include only Muslim Albanians in his book
Albanians as a whole, can certainly be proud.
but, as was said, besa has nothing to do with the Koran.
and i’ll wager most of the Muslims that photographer ended up with, were secular non-practicing muslims,
who probably had never even read the Koran.
( the Imam i studied with, told me even most Muslims today,
have never read the Koran.)
... and certainly CNN would never report about the Nazi SS units made up of Albanian Muslims...
- - -;_ylt=Ajm99C2Bm72KTgyIbafAxUCbvZx4?p=albanian+nazi+ss+muslim&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8&fr=yfp-t-701

2 posted on 08/06/2012 10:47:31 AM PDT by Elendur (It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. - Thomas Jefferson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Milagros
While only 200 Jews lived in Albania before the war, there were 3,000 living there by its conclusion, Huck said. Albania's King Zog instructed all his country's foreign embassies to provide a visa to any Jew wishing to immigrate, and Albania was the only country in Europe that had more Jews at the end of the war than at the beginning.

King Zog had to flee Albania when Italy invaded the country in 1939, so Jews would subsequently have been unable to use these documents to immigrate there. But Jews from surrounding countries apparently fled to Albania, where they were protected by the local population.

3 posted on 08/06/2012 10:51:53 AM PDT by Fiji Hill (Deo Vindice!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Elendur
Albanians of all faiths


4 posted on 08/06/2012 10:52:18 AM PDT by Milagros (Y)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Elendur
CNN would never report about the Nazi SS units made up of Albanian Muslims...

Three divisions of Muslim soldiers were recruited: The Waffen SS 13th Handschar ("Knife") and the 23rd Kama ("Dagger") and the 21st Skenderbeg. The Skenderbeg was an Albanian unit of around 4,000 men, and the Kama was composed of Muslims from Bosnia, containing 3,793 men at its peak. The Handschar was the largest unit, around 20,000 Bosnian Muslim volunteers. According to the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, "These Muslim volunteer units, called Handschar, were put in Waffen SS units, fought Yugoslav partisans in Bosnia and carried out police and security duties in Hungary. They participated in the massacre of civilians in Bosnia and volunteered to join in the hunt for Jews in Croatia." Part of the division also escorted Hungarian Jews from the forced labor in mine in Bor on their way back to Hungary. The division was also employed against Serbs, who as Orthodox Christians were seen by the Bosnian Muslims as enemies.

The Handschar division surrendered to the British army on May 8, 1945. As many as 70,000 Bosnian Muslim POWs and their families were moved by the British army to Taranto in Italy. The creation of Marshal Tito's Yugoslavia at the end of the war meant that former Bosnian Muslim volunteers in the German SS units could not return home for fear of prosecution or internment. George Lepre, a scholar on the history of the Handschar and author of Himmler's Bosnian Division: The Waffen-SS Handschar Division 1943-1945 describes their fate: "Those Bosnians who elected to remain in the camps eventually found asylum in countries throughout the Western and Arab worlds. Many of those who settled in the Middle East later fought in Palestine against the new Israeli state."
5 posted on 08/06/2012 12:18:21 PM PDT by Milagros (Y)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson