Israel museum awards Arab who saved Jews in WWII

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Associated Press

Posted on September 30, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Updated Monday, Sep 30 at 11:04 AM

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's Holocaust memorial says it is posthumously honoring an Egyptian doctor who risked his life to rescue Jews during World War II, the first Arab to receive the prestigious recognition of "Righteous Among the Nations."

Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev says a German researcher found German archival evidence last year that Mohamed Helmy, an Egyptian physician in Berlin, hid a young Jewish woman and provided medical care to her relatives.

The memorial awards the honor to non-Jews who risked great danger to save Jews during the Holocaust. Shalev says a few dozen Muslims have been recognized, but no Arabs because Nazi Germany occupied North Africa only briefly and locals helping Jews faced little physical threat.

Yad Vashem says it is searching for living relatives of Helmy to present the award.

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