Besa shqiptare në një film hebre

Sa njerëz do të jepnin jetën e tyre për një të huaj? Pyetja universale, përgjigjia shumë e thjeshtë; Shqiptaret do ta bënin! Ky është boshti i një dokumentari i "Besa- The Promise", Besa si Kod, por dhe si virtyt, ne formen e një zemre të mirë shqiptare që sakrifikohet për tjetrin.



CNN ndalet tek ky film që bëri jehonë në festivalin e filmit hebre në "San Francisko" që nisi më 19 korrik dhe përfundoi më 6 gusht 2012.

Norman Gershman

      Norman Gershman

“Besa” u shndërrua në misionin e fotografit hebreo-amerikan Norman Gershman. Fotot e mbledhura në Shqipëri, ai i përdori në librin ku mbështet filmi; "Besa, Muslimanët që shpëtuan Hebrenjtë në Luftën e Dytë Botërore".
Lime BallaLime Balla
Filmi nisi në 2007 dhe është rrugëtimi i dy burrave, Gershmanit dhe Rexhep Hoxhës, një muslimani shqiptar. Rexhepi, me ndihmën e Normanit çon deri në fund besën që i dha i ati familjes hebreje, të cilën e shpëtoi gjatë Holokaustit; t’i kthejë asaj librat e shenjtë të lutjeve të lëna në shtëpinë e tyre. Nga Bullgaria mbërrijnë në Izrael. Megjithëse i besimit musliman, Rexhep Hoxha ndjehej pjesë e kësaj familje hebreje.

Gershman bisedoi edhe me Leka Zogun e Parë, për vendimin e mbreti të vetëm musliman në Europë, siç shkruan ai, për t’i hapur kufijtë hebrenjve në vitin 1938, kur kjo mund të ndizte zemëratën e nazistëve kundër Shqipërisë.
From left to right: Hamid Veseli, Xhemal VeseliFrom left to right: Hamid Veseli, Xhemal Veseli
Leka Zogu i Pare ishte përgjigjur; sepse e ndjente që nuk ishte njerëzore ajo që bënë gjermanët dhe e ndjeu t’i hapte një rrugë. Sipas Yad Vashem, muzeut izraelit, apo siç njihet ndryshe arkiva më e madhe e Holokaustit në botë, nuk ka asnjë rast të vetëm të shqiptarëve, që i tradhëtuan familjet hebreje për t’ia dorëzuar nazistëve.
Johana Neuman e mbijetuar e Holokaustit, një prej personazheve të filmit, tregon për CNN se mbërriti në Shqipëri nga Gjermania, bashkë me familjen dhe asokohe ishte vetëm 8 vjeç.
Merushe KadiuMerushe Kadiu
"Unë dua të nënvizoj faktin se çdo shqiptar, apo çdokush që ndiqej nga gjermanët nëse fshihte një hebre, jeta e tij dhe ajo e familjes së tij ishte në rrezik. Ata e bënë dhe ishte e pabesueshme. Nuk mund të theksohet mjaftueshëm se çfarë bënë shqiptarët. Besa ishte pa dyshim pjesë e kulturës që vjen nga Kanuni, udhërrëfyesi i tyre moral", thotë Johanna Neumann.

Misioni i tanishëm i fotografit, Norman Gershman është t’ua rrëfejë të rinjve amerikanë në shkollat e mesme konceptin e besës. "Besa është një mesazh për botën, thotë ai, për vëllazëri dhe dhembshuri për të gjithë ata njerëz në nevoje dhe që u përket vetëm shqiptarëve".


Norman H. Gershman embarked on his career as a photographer at a relatively late age. He studied with and was influenced by the works of the photographers Ansel Adams, Roman Vishniac and Arnold Newman, as well as under the tutelage of Cornell Capa, the founder and director of the International Center of Photography in New York. Ultimately, Gershman developed a personal style focusing on portraiture, in which he lends a personal touch emphasizing the special personality of the subject.
For four years Gershman focused on photographing Muslim families who rescued Jews during the Holocaust, converging between two seemingly opposed worlds.
Norman Gershman’s works are to be found in a variety of public collections, including the International Center of Photography, New York; the Brooklyn Museum; the Aspen Museum of Art and a number of galleries in Russia.
Gershman lives and works in Aspen, Colorado.



Besim and Aishe Kadiu

My father said that the Germans would have to kill his family before he would let them kill our Jewish guests.
We lived in the village of Kavajë. In 1940, for a short time, our family sheltered two Greek Jews from the Italian fascists. Their names were Jakov and Sandra Batino, and they were brother and sister. They came to us from Tirana. Their father had been interned in a camp by the Italians. Later, in 1944, both Jakov and Sandra again sought shelter with us, fearful of the Nazis. Another family took their parents into hiding.
Sandra, Jakov and I were close friends. We all lived in the same bedroom. I remember we cut a hole in the bars of our rear bedroom window so they could escape if the Germans discovered that they were hiding with us. We were constantly watching for German patrols. When the Germans began house-to-house searches, looking for Jews, my father took Jakov and Sandra to a remote village. We then supplied them with all their needs until the liberation. There was a great celebration in Kavajë. I remember the telegram we received from Jakov and Sandra and the joy of liberation. Soon they left for Tirana and then for Israel.
I have so many wonderful letters and pictures from Israel. In 1992, I was invited there to receive the Righteous Among the Nations award on behalf of my family, and for a time I was the head of the Albanian-Israeli Friendship Association. Those years were fearful, but friendship overcame all fear.
Story as told by Merushe Kadiu (daughter of Besim and Aishe Kadiu)
On July 21, 1992, Yad Vashem recognized Besim Kadiu, and his wife, Aishe Kadiu, as Righteous Among the Nations.

Brothers Hamid and Xhemal Veseli

Our parents were devout Muslims and believed, as we do, that “every knock on the door is a blessing from God”. We never took any money from our Jewish guests. All persons are from God. Besa exists in every Albanian soul.
Our deceased brother Refik was the first to be honored in Albania as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem. Now we both have been given the same honor for sheltering the family of Joseph Ben Joseph as well as the Mandil family. Under the Italian occupation, Joseph worked for me (Hamid) in my clothing shop and Moshe Mandil worked in our brother Refik’s photography studio. Both families were refugees from Yugoslavia.
With the coming of the German occupation in 1943, both Jewish families were moved to our family home in Krujë. Xhemal walked the parents night and day for 36 hours to reach our family home. We dressed them as villagers. Two days later we transported the children to Krujë. During the day we hid the adults in a cave in the mountains near our village. The children played with other children in the village. The entire neighborhood knew we were sheltering Jews. There were other Jewish families that were being sheltered. One day the Germans were conducting a house-to-house search looking for a lost gun. They never found the gun and executed the soldier who lost it. We sheltered the Jews for nine months, until liberation. We lost all contact with the Ben Joseph family. They left for Yugoslavia too early, and we fear that the retreating Germans may have killed them. The Mandil family also left for their home in Yugoslavia. Our brother Refik visited them after the war, and studied photography with Moshe. The Mandil family subsequently immigrated to Israel.
Four times we Albanians opened our doors. First to the Greeks during the famine of World War I, then to the Italian soldiers stranded in our country after their surrender to the Allies, then the Jews during the German occupation and most recently to the Albanian refugees from Kosovo fleeing the Serbs. Only the Jews showed their gratitude.
Story as told by Hamid Veseli and Xhemal Veseli
On May 23, 2004, Yad Vashem recognized the brothers, Hamid and Xhemal Veseli, as Righteous Among the Nations.


Destan and Lime Balla




All of us villagers were Muslims. We were sheltering God’s children under our Besa.
I was born in 1910. In 1943, at the time of Ramadan, seventeen people from Tirana came to our village of Shengjergji. They were all escaping from the Germans. At first I didn’t know they were Jews. We divided them amongst the villagers. We took in three brothers by the name of Lazar.
We were poor - we didn’t even have a dining table - but we never allowed them to pay for the food or shelter. I went into the forest to chop wood and haul water. We grew vegetables in our garden so we all had plenty to eat. The Jews were sheltered in our village for fifteen months. We dressed them all as farmers, like us. Even the local police knew that the villagers were sheltering Jews. I remember they spoke many different languages.
In December of 1944 the Jews left for Priština, where a nephew of ours, who was a partisan, helped them. After that we lost all contact with the Lazar brothers. It was not until 1990, forty-five years later, that Sollomon and Mordehaj Lazar made contact with us from Israel.
Story as told by Lime Balla
On October 4, 1992, Yad Vashem recognized Destan Balla, and his wife, Lime Balla, as Righteous Among the Nations






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