History of the Jews in Albania


History of the Jews in Albania

=World War II=

It has been stated that during World War II Albania was the only state in Europe having more Jews after the war then before it. Though Albania did end up with a few hundred more Jews than she had at the beginning of the war, she was not the only country in Europe to do so. Catholic Spain, as well as Lutheran Sweden and Finland also had more Jews at the end of the conflict than at the beginning. It should be said however that these countries were untouched by the horrific events of the war and therefore there was little resonance of Hitler's antisemitic policies present in their territories. As such, the positive role that the Albanians played in sheltering and aiding segments of the European Jewry cannot be denied.

Communist era

Throughout Albania’s communist rule under the dictatorship of Enver Hoxha, the Jewish community was isolated from the Jewish world, though this does not reflect anti-jewish measures. In order the forge sustainable national unity as well as the new socialist man Hoxha banned confessional loyalties across the religious spectrum. In this manner, the fate of the Jewish community was inextricably linked to the fates of the Albanian society as a whole.

All religion was strictly banned from the country. The Jewish population numbered between 200-300 citizens. Fact|date=May 2007 After the fall of Communism, in 1991, nearly all the Jews of Albania were transported to Israel and settled predominately in Tel Aviv.

Jews in Albania today

Today, approximately only ten Jews remain in Albania, most in the capital, Tirana.Fact|date=May 2007 Where there was once an active Jewish community, today, there exists very little organized communal life. An Albania-Israel Friendship Society is active in Tirana, but with little assistance. One synagogue remains in Vlorë, but is no longer in use.

External links

* [http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/vjw/albania.html History of Jews in Albania] .
* [http://www.juedisches-archiv-chfrank.de/kehilot/albania/alban-resc.htm RESCUE IN ALBANIA ONE HUNDRED PERCENT OF JEWS IN ALBANIA RESCUED FROM HOLOCAUST Haroey Samer]
* [http://www.huc.edu/news/08/2/gershman/ Albanian Muslim Rescuers During the Holocaust: Photographs by Norman Gershman]


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