Search is on for Bosnian Muslims who helped Jews

Leaders of Bosnia’s Jewish community appealed Tuesday for help locating Bosnians who aided Jews during World War II and have not been recognized, Haaretz reports (with thanks: Lily).

The search is aimed at locating people who offered help and documenting their stories, said the Bosnian Jewish Community. The effort is part of a broader project to record the lives of Bosnia’s Muslim and Jewish communities over the past centuries.

Appearing on state TV, project leader Eli Tauber invited people to contact the Jewish Community or Bosnia’s Institute for the Research of Crimes Against Humanity, which is also involved in the project.

This project is extremely important nowadays when Bosnia is full of negative examples of who hates whom. It sends a message of coexistence and we want to show to all peoples in Bosnia that the life of one nation with another is sacred and has to be preserved, said Muhamed Mesic, of the institute, on Bosnian TV.

One of the best-known stories of Bosnian involvement in preserving Jewish tradition during World War II involves efforts to safeguard a 600-year-old Jewish manuscript known as the Sarajevo Haggadah (pictured).

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  • Dear Sir,

    Obviously you’ve either fallen victim or lent an ear to well oiled and equally untrue Serbian propaganda. Fyi-Bosnian Handschar division had spent greater part of the WWII in France and it was the first military unit to rebel against Germans in 1942.This historical fact of Bosnian Muslim rebellion against Nazi’s in Villefranche-de-Rouergue is well recorded fact. For that reason French had erected them a monument.
    And just read more about genocide against Bosniaks in Srebrenica.

  • No doubt there were Bosnian Muslims who helped Jews during the Holocaust. However, there were also Bosnian Muslims who took an active part in the Holocaust, particularly the troops of the Bosnian Muslim SS division, called the Handschar [khanjar]. These SS troops murdered not only Jews but Serbs, Gypsies and even some Croats. The mass murders perpetrated by the Handschar during WW2 are one of the reasons for Serbian hatred of Bosnian Muslims, a partial explanation for why Serbs did not want to be part of an independent Bosnian state governed by Muslims and Croats.


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