Who are Righteous among the Nations?

Who are Righteous among the Nations?

  •   Ambassador's article for daily Danas
    The five years of the WW2 were the years of total evil. The destiny of each Jew – man, woman or a child, was to be murdered according to the German Nazi racist philosophy. All over occupied Europe, innocent Jews were tortured in thousands ways of brutality. They were gassed to death in gas chambers in concentration camps, the entire families were shot in mass graves, starved to death, drown in rivers, exhausted to death by forced labor, murdered by medical experiments with no anesthesia and other diabolic methods of death.

    More than 6 million Jews, 80% of the Jewish population under the German occupation, were murdered in those days. Their only crime was that they were born Jewish.

    I said – days of total darkness, but still in this darkness, there were some sparkling lights: European men and women who decided not to surrender, as almost everyone did, to the Nazi evil, and to reach a hand to sometimes an unknown human being who asked for help in order to survive. It could’ve been a sudden knock at the door at midnight by a Jewish girl, who jumped from the train taking her family to the death camp. It could’ve been a mother asking the neighbor to hide her children before her whole family was to be taken and shot in the nearby forest.

    The punishment for those who helped Jews to escape from their destiny was in many cases death, not only for the one who was ready to help but for his family. The bravery of those, who risked their lives and lives of their families to help people that were transported to death like cattle, was the victory of humanity over fear and indifference.

    A few thousands Jews were saved by courageous Europeans in cities, towns and villages. The number of these heroes was small but their moral strength is a torch that teaches us until today what a single human being can do against a death industry and annihilation machine.

    Such heroes existed also in today’s Serbia. More than 140 Serbian men and women were awarded a special medal for their unique deed by Israeli YAD VASHEM – Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority. Out of 35000 Jews who lived in today's Serbia, approximately 30000 were murdered. Hundreds were saved thanks to their Serbian saviors. The real number of these heroes might never be known, as in many cases they were murdered or passed away in the aftermath of the war. Today, at the Ceremony in Belgrade, we will be posthumoulsly granting YAD VASHEM Medals to two Serbian families: Vojislav Knežević and Nurija & Devleta Pozderac.

    We, the survivors and the State of Israel, shall always remember them. They were good Christians and Muslims, good Serbians, but first and foremost, exceptional people. That is why we call them the Righteous among the Nations, saints among the gentiles, who taught us the meaning of compassion and love in the most horrible days in the history of the civilized world.​ 

  • icon_zoom.png
    Ambasador Josef Levi Ambasador Josef Levi
    Ambassador Levy