The Righteous Among The Nations

From the website for Yad Vashem, The World Holocaust Remembrance Center

Having been lucky enough to visit Yad Vashem in Israel, I believe it is a wonderful addition to anyone’s bucket list. Short of being able to go there, though, I would highly recommend a visit to their website where you can get lost in incredible and unimaginable stories of loss, strength, and unbelievable bravery.

For me, the part of my visit etched most deeply in my memory, was to the area called, The Righteous Among the Nations. 

In a world of total moral collapse there was a small minority who mustered extraordinary courage to uphold human values. These were the Righteous Among the Nations. They stand in stark contrast to the mainstream of indifference and hostility that prevailed during the Holocaust. Contrary to the general trend, these rescuers regarded the Jews as fellow human beings who came within the bounds of their universe of obligation.

Most rescuers were ordinary people. Some acted out of political, ideological or religious convictions; others were not idealists, but merely human beings who cared about the people around them. In many cases they never planned to become rescuers and were totally unprepared for the moment in which they had to make such a far-reaching decision. They were ordinary human beings, and it is precisely their humanity that touches us and should serve as a model. So far Yad Vashem recognized Righteous from 44 countries and nationalities; there are Christians from all denominations and churches, Muslims and agnostics; men and women of all ages; they come from all walks of life; highly educated people as well as illiterate peasants; public figures as well as people from society’s margins; city dwellers and farmers from the remotest corners of Europe; university professors, teachers, physicians, clergy, nuns, diplomats, simple workers, servants, resistance fighters, policemen, peasants, fishermen, a zoo director, a circus owner, and many more.

To read stories of extraordinary people who risked their own lives to save another, visit here: The Righteous Among The Nations 

To visit the main page of Yad Vashem, click here: Yad Vashem