Doctor set to be honoured as first Arab Righteous Gentile

Yad Vashem memorial centre to recognise Mohamed Helmy for sheltering Jews during Second World War


Israel’s Yad Vashem memorial centre is set to honour an Arab man for saving the lives of Jews during the Holocaust.

Egyptian doctor Mohamed Helmy will be recognised with the Righteous Among the Nations honorific, which is presented to non-Jews who risked their own lives to save Jews from extermination by the Nazis.

Helmy, who died in 1982, will become the first Arab to be recognised in this way.

He moved to Berlin in 1922 to study medicine and became a urologist. He is credited with saving the life of Anna Boros Gutman, 21, and her family in 1942 by hiding them in a cabin in Berlin-Buch, where they stayed almost until the end of the war.

The Yad Vashem recognition will be received by Nasser Kutbi, an 81-year-old medicine professor who was Helmy’s great-nephew.

More than 26,000 individuals from 44 countries have received the Righteous Among the Nations honour.

Helmy was first nominated in 2013, but his family in Egypt refused to accept it because it came from an Israeli institution.

Prof Kutbi, whose father was Helmy’s nephew, has since agreed to receive it and will travel from Cairo for a ceremony in Berlin on Thursday.

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