Besa during World War II
Sometimes we are like sheep and easily led, often the media is to blame, but we can and we should think for ourselves. make up our own minds and not accept what the media feeds us. I’m thinking of groups like ”Britain First” who constantly preached hatred against Muslims. Or Isis who go out of their way to shock civilized peoples with unbelievable cruelty and savagery. The World was outraged and shocked by Hitler and the Nazis persecution of the Jews. Yet here we are to day apparently happy doing a similar injustice to Muslims. Of course there are bad Muslims, there are bad Christians and bad Jews too.
I’m certainly one of the guilty when it comes to condemning the Muslim race as a whole. It is easy to do considering the terrorism many fanatical Muslims have carried out against innocent people. The Twin Towers, the London Underground,Paris, Spain and not forgetting the current rampage, beheading and savagery of Isis. It is always easy to blame a whole society when a few commit horrible atrocities. Would it be fair to say because of the Nazis all Germans were bad. Of course not, so it is equally unfair to blame all Muslims on the fanatics. I was quite surprised to learn about the Albanian Muslims during the 2nd World war. Of all the nations occupied by the Nazis only Albania had more Jews at the end of the war than at the start. That is quite a remarkable feat and an amazing credit the citizens of Albania. Read the explanation below regarding the meaning of Besa.
Besa also means taking care of those in need and being hospitable. During World War II, Albanians saved over 2000 Jews from Nazi persecution. Rather than hiding the Jews in attics or the woods, Albanians gave them clothes, gave them Albanian names, and treated them as part of the family. The concept of besa is incorporated into their culture. Before World War II only about 200 Albanians were Jewish. At the end of the war about 2000 Jews were living in Albania. An award-winning feature film documentary BESA: The Promise (2012) is about American photographer Norman H. Gershman’s quest to tell the story of Besa and the Albanians who saved Jews during World War II. This story was featured on CBS News Sunday Morning on November 8, 2009 for the 71st anniversary of Kristallnacht, which occurred on November 9, 1938.
Food for thought before we move to condemn others.
God Bless and keep reading
Thank you for mentioning our film and for helping spread the word about besa. We were delighted to have our premiere screening in Ireland in June 2015.
I have to confess I only heard about Besa at church on Sunday, part of the sermon. Nevertheless, it was an interesting part of history and i felt it needed to be spread further. Especially at a time when we are tending to blame all Muslims for the fanatics
A good read Ben. I think the balanced approach is best. If you only focus on the worst few people then you loose sight of the majority. Thanks for sharing the history lesson. I will check out that movie!