The family initially refused the honour because the institution is Israeli. But Yad Vashem has now found a relative who agreed to accept the award
In First, Yad Vashem to bestow ‘Righteous Gentile’ honour to an Arab (Haaretz)
Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial centre will for the first time recognise as “Righteous Among the Nations” an Arab who saved the lives of Jews during the Holocaust. The family of Dr Mohamed Helmy will accept the award from Israel’s Holocaust memorial and museum in a ceremony in Berlin on Thursday.
Helmy, an Egyptian-born doctor living in Berlin, risked his life when he sheltered four Jews throughout the period of World War II. Yad Vashem recognised Helmy, who died in 1982, as Righteous Among the Nations in 2013, but his family initially refused the honour because the institution is Israeli.
“If any other country offered to honor Helmy, we would have been happy with it,” said Mervat Hassan, the wife of Helmy’s grandnephew, told The Associated Press during an interview at her home in Cairo in October, 2013. Now, after a four-year search, a relative was found who agreed to accept the award.
Photo: Sud-Deutsche Zeitung