An Egyptian doctor is the first Arab to be recognized by Israel for rescuing Jews during the Holocaust.
Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem, announced that Dr. Mohamed Helmy has been named to its list of "Righteous Among Nations," a category that recognizes non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the war, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz
Currently there are 25,000 people from 44 countries who have received the honor over the past 50 years.
Helmy, who had moved to Berlin to study medicine in 1922 and was himself discriminated against by the Nazis and tossed in jail for a year, is credited for hiding a 21-year-old Jewish patient, Anna Boros when the deportation of Berlin's Jews began in 1941.
"A good friend of our family, Dr. Helmy . . . hid me in his cabin in Berlin-Buch from 10 March until the end of the war. As of 1942, I no longer had any contact with the outside world. The Gestapo knew that Dr. Helmy was our family physician, and they knew that he owned a cabin in Berlin-Buch.," she later wrote.
“He managed to evade all their interrogations. In such cases he would bring me to friends where I would stay for several days, introducing me as his cousin from Dresden," she wrote."When the danger would pass, I would return to his cabin. . . . Dr. Helmy did everything for me out of the generosity of his heart and I will be grateful to him for eternity'"
Helmy also provided medical care for Boros' mother and stepfather. A German friend, Frieda Szturmann, is also credited for hiding Boros' grandmother in her home.
After the war Boros and her family emigrated to the United States. Helmy remained in Berlin and died in 1982. Szturmann died in 1962.
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