Kosovo: Kosovo inaugurates ‘Wall of Honor’ statue for 23 Albanians who rescued Jews during the Holocaust

PRISTINA: A statue bearing the names of 23 Kosovo Albanians who rescued Jews from the Holocaust throughout World War II was inaugurated Wednesday within the capital, Pristina.
The “Wall of Honor” statue was positioned in a park in Pristina within the presence of a number of the rescuers’ descendants, political leaders, and the U.S. and German ambassadors.
Some 500 Jews lived in Kosovo, then a part of former Yugoslavia, at the start of the battle. Many had been arrested, deported to close by prisons or Nazi-managed camps and virtually half of them died.
Native Albanians helped scores of Jews to flee, often taking them to neighboring Albania.
Leke Rezniqi’s great-grandfather Arslan rescued Jewish doctor Chaim Abrabanel, who was working in Skopje, now in North Macedonia. Arslan Rezniqi sheltered him and labored with one other Albanian, Arif Alickaj, to arrange false paperwork and take Abrabanel safely to Albania.
“That reveals solely the instance of the individuality of Albanian rescue,” Leke Rezniqi instructed The Related Press. “He promised with the very best degree of promise, the idea of the besa (‘belief’ in Albanian), that signifies that you by no means betray that promise, although you would need to sacrifice your personal household.”
In 2008 Arslan Rezniqi was the primary Kosovar to be included within the “Righteous Among the many Nations” listing from Yad Vashem for rescuing Jews from the Holocaust.
Since 2021, Leke Rezniqi has lived in Haifa, Israel. Abrabanel’s niece Rachel-Shelly Levy-Drummer helped him to to migrate and acquire Israeli citizenship.
These days, 56 Jews stay within the western Kosovar city of Prizren.
The statue confirmed that “the remembrance of those that risked their lives to avoid wasting their fellow human beings is a convention that commemorates a uncommon, shiny mild in one of many darkest durations of human historical past,” in accordance with Kosovar Prime Minister Albin Kurti.
Avner Shalev, former head of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, thought of Albanians as “a singular case within the historical past of the Second World Conflict.”
In each different European state, the Jews had been fewer in quantity after the battle or completely worn out, he stated. The one exception was “within the territories that Albanians used to stay: there have been extra Jews after the battle then at first of the battle,” he stated, including that must be instructed to generations.
Kosovo and Israel determined to determine diplomatic ties at a Kosovo-Serbia summit held on the White Home in September 2020 by then-U.S. President Donald Trump.
Kosovo was the primary European nation, and the primary nation with a Muslim majority, to determine its embassy in Jerusalem, following the U.S. and Guatemala. A gap ceremony was held in March 2021.
Israel is the latest nation to have acknowledged Kosovo after Pristina’s Parliament declared independence from Serbia in 2008, 9 years after NATO performed a 78-day airstrike marketing campaign in opposition to Serbia to cease a bloody crackdown in opposition to ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.
Most Western nations have acknowledged Kosovo’s independence, however Serbia and its allies Russia and China haven’t.

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