Israel's Holocaust memorial to honour first Arab with Righteous Among the Nations medal

Israel's Holocaust memorial to honour first Arab with Righteous Among the Nations medal

The Righteous Among the Nations medal will be awarded in Berlin (Stock image)

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Israel's Holocaust memorial is to recognise its first Arab for helping to save Jews during World War Two.

Mohammed Helmy, who was an Egyptian doctor, is to be given the Righteous Among the Nations medal posthumously today (October 26).

The ceremony will take place in Berlin and Henry's great-nephew, Nasser Kotby, will be there to collect it, according to The Local.

During the Second World War Helmy kept Anna Boros Gutman, a 21-year-old German Jew, and her grandmother hidden at a property. He also cared for Boros' parents.

Although it was announced in 2013 that the doctor would be given the honour, the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial claimed it had struggled to reach relatives of Helmy.

Reports suggested his family were reluctant to accept the honour due to its Israel links, but this was never confirmed.

It is thought the reason the honour is being awarded now is because a film inspired by Helmy is being created by Taliya Finkel.

Finkel has contacted relatives of both Helmy and Boros to help create the film.

Irena Steinfeldt, director of Yad Vashem's Righteous Among the Nations department, said "Helmy's humanity shows that every person, however marginalized by society, can make a difference."

Despite Egypt and Israel signing a peace treaty tensions between the two still exist due to Israel's policies aimed at the Palestinians.

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