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Besa: A Code of Honor

September 5, 2017 - November 13, 2017


Presented 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.

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.

Check the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton Country, Main Library for information about open hours.


September 5, 2017
November 13, 2017


The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Main Library
800 Vine Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202 United States
+ Google Map
(513) 369-6973


Lisa Shusterman