Theater : Bill Cosford Cinema
In commemoration of U.N. Holocaust Memorial Day
Films Sponsor Hall Lamb Hall P. A.
Community Partner Holocaust Memorial of Greater Miami Jewish Federation
Directed by Rachel Goslins
USA, 2012, 86 min. English, Albanian with subtitles
In 1939, many German Jews were looking for refuge from the Nazis. While the rest of Europe turned its back, Albania offered unconditional asylum. When the Nazis invaded Albania, Albanian families, most of them Muslim, gave their sacred oath, the ancient besa, to protect the refugees. In 2002, Norman Gershman journeyed to Albania to photograph the families who rescued Jews. There he met Rexhep Hoxha, the son of a pastry chef who had hidden a family of Bulgarian Jews, the Aladjems, in his home. The refugees had been forced to leave behind their sacred prayer books, and Hoxha’s father pledged to keep them until the Aladjems could return to Albania. Ending the circle, Gershman helps Hoxha go to Israel, allowing him to fulfill the 66-year-old promise to the Jewish family he sheltered. This is a powerful look at a historic example of basic human solidarity and features music by Philip Glass.