Thanking Muslims for Holocaust heroism

By Jessica Elgot, January 27, 2011
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Stories of Albanian Muslims who saved the lives of Jews during the Holocaust are the focus of a campaign for better interfaith relations.

Run by the Exploring Islam Foundation, Missing Pages was launched at the House of Lords in the week of Holocaust Memorial Day. The campaign features an exhibition of photography by Norman Gershman featuring Muslims who protected Jews.

At the launch, survivor Scarlett Epstein told how Albanian Muslims had saved her from the Nazis. "I owe Albania my life," she said. "I saw unspeakable atrocities living in Vienna and we fled to Yugoslavia on a tourist visa. My parents were suicidal because as the visa ran out they wanted to send us back to Vienna. No country would take us, not the US, not the UK, nowhere. Finally we tried the Albanian consulate. I expected them to throw us out but they gave us the visas straight away."

Mr Gershman, who spent six years on the photographic project, said: "We are telling a story which has never been told. They risked their lives and they have been forgotten. Many of these people have never been recognised by Yad Vashem."

The exhibition has been displayed in the House of Commons and is at the London Jewish Cultural Centre until February 1.

Mr Gershman will also speak on a Missing Pages tour of university campuses, hosted jointly by Islamic and Jewish societies.

Last updated: 11:44am, January 27 2011