Albania: Practicing Respect With Great Sincerity

Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Hannah Rosenthal and Special Representative to Muslim Communities Farah Pandith meet with Prime Minister of Albania Sali Berisha to discuss the 2012 Hours Against Hate campaign. [Photo Courtesy of the Office of the Prime Minister of Albania.]

About the Author: Hannah Rosenthal serves as the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism at the Department of State.

In my job as Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, I often reflect on the horrors of the Holocaust and how best to educate people about it to prevent such genocides from happening again. I often talk about the good people, the righteous among us, who saved people like my father, often at great peril to themselves. When I think of these righteous people, I often think of the nuns who sheltered children, of the urban Parisian families who hid their neighbors, or the farmhands in Poland whose sheds became shelters from the gas chambers. And I always tell people about Albania — a country whose entire government and society were righteous, saving all of the Jews within their midst. Drita Veseli, an Albanian Muslim who sheltered Jews during World War II, once said, “There are no foreigners in Albania, there are only guests.” And indeed, that is the attitude with which Albania… more »

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