The Macedonian Tendency: 1943: Macedonians and Albanians Join to Save Jews!

Friday, April 27, 2007

1943: Macedonians and Albanians Join to Save Jews!

A Night Full Of Maazel -, | Fri. Feb 23, 2007

"Few among the hundreds of guests in the room knew the saga of the Albanian peoples’ rescue not only of their own Jewish neighbors and citizens but also of all the Jews who managed to make it to their country. As Michael Salberg, the ADL’s director of international affairs, reported: “In September 1943, the Orthodox priests of Struga in Macedonia came to Mefail Biçaku asking for his help in saving Jews from the Germans. Seventeen-year-old Njazi was given the family’s old Italian carbine and told not to lose sight of his charges who stayed in the village during the winter.” Salberg described how the Biçakus shared their food with 26 people, and how his wife had washed their clothes…. The whole region knew that Mefail was hiding Jews, but “because of the complex rules of behavior in the mountains,” and the family’s reputation, no one betrayed him nor his charges. By the end of 1944, the Jews returned to Struga, with some making their way to Argentina and most landing in Israel."

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