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BESA: A Code of Honor Exhibit Opening
September 5, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Photographic Exhibition at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. 800 Vine Street.
In Partnership with the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati, Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, Yad Vashem and The American Society of Yad Vashem.
Exhibit Run: September 5, 2017-November 13, 2017
During WW II, following the German occupation in 1943, the Albanian population, in an extraordinary act, refused to comply with their occupier’s orders to turn over lists of Jews residing in Albania. In addition, various governmental agencies provided Jews with falsified documents allowing them to intermingle amongst the Muslim population. The Albanians not only protected their Jewish citizens, but also provided sanctuary to Jewish refugees placing themselves under the danger of deportation to concentration camps.
The remarkable assistance afforded to the Jews was grounded in Besa, a code of honor, which still today serves as the highest ethical code in the country. Besa, literally means “to keep the promise.” One who acts according to Besa is someone who keeps his word, someone to whom one can trust one’s life and the lives of one’s family.
Come to this exhibit to learn about some of these wonderful people and their courageous acts.
Exhibit Opening with Mordecai Paldiel, September 5, 2017 at 7:00 PM
Dr. Mordecai Paldiel, the former Director of the Department of the Righteous at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust authority, is a lecturer at Yeshiva College (at Yeshiva University) and Queens College (CUNY) in New York. Born in Belgium, Dr. Paldiel and his family of six fled to France where they were rescued by a Catholic Priest who was able to smuggle the entire family into Switzerland. Dr. Paldiel, a leading authority on rescue during the Holocaust, has written several books including The Path of the Righteous: Gentile Rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust, Whosoever Saves One Life: The Uniqueness of the Righteous Among the Nations, Sheltering the Jews: Stories of Holocaust Rescuers and German Rescuers of Jews: Individuals versus the System. In 1991, Dr. Paldiel was the Ida E. King Distinguished Visiting Scholar of Holocaust Studies at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. He received a B.A. from Hebrew University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Religion and Holocaust Studies from Temple University. Dr. Paldiel speaks about the Righteous Among the Nations and the significance of documenting the rescue of Jews by non-Jews during the Holocaust. He also speaks on the importance of honoring these rescuers as role models for outstanding human behavior.