Tuesday, September 16, 2014

(Some) Bosnian Muslims saved Jews

 A page from the Sarajevo Haggadah, hidden by Muslims during WW2

An exhibition charting the role Muslims played in saving Jewish lives in the Holocaust went on show at a  Cardiff synagogue last week, the BBC tells us. Bosnian Muslims hid the Sarajevo Haggadah, a 600-year old manuscript, beneath the floor of a mosque - a remarkable story. It is a pity that the BBC does not pay equal attention  to the 20,000 Bosnian Muslims who joined the Handschar SS division and took part in the killing of thousands of Jews, Serbs and Roma. (With thanks: Lily)

Stanley Soffa, chair of Jewish Representative Council for South Wales who has brought it to Wales said it was a "heroic story".

It is part of Open Doors 2014, the annual event offering free entry to many attractions throughout September.

The programme is marking 30 years of making heritage more accessible.
The Righteous Muslim Exhibition documents the story of Bosnia Muslims who went to great lengths to preserve Jewish tradition during World War Two by safeguarding the Sarajevo Haggadah, a 600-year-old manuscript which narrates the Exodus from Egypt every Passover.

When a Nazi official came to seize the Haggadah, two men carried it through Nazi checkpoints, to a mountain village above Sarajevo. A Muslim cleric kept it hidden beneath a floor of a mosque until the war was over.

Mr Soffa said: "The exhibition was very well received in London last year, so we are delighted to have the opportunity to share this story with the people of Wales... this weekend.

"For us, it is a heroic story of Muslims saving Jewish lives which provides a unique bond between two communities that we can celebrate together and remember together."

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