Among the Righteous
Lost Stories From the Holocaust's Long Reach Into Arab LandsBook - 2006
Looks at the reaction of the Arab people to the Holocaust in North Africa, where thousands of Jews were forced into labor camps.
The story of the Holocaust's long reach into the Arab world is difficult to uncover, covered up by desert sands and desert politics. We follow Satloff over four years, through eleven countries, from the barren wasteland of the Sahara, where thousands of Jews were imprisoned in labor camps; through the archways of the Mosque in Paris, which may once have hidden 1700 Jews; to the living rooms of octogenarians in London, Paris and Tunis. The story is very cinematic; the characters are rich and handsome, brave and cowardly; there are heroes and villains. The most surprising story of all is why, more than sixty years after the end of the war, so few people? Arab and Jew?want this story told.
Some helped Jews to pass as Muslims under the noses of nazis. Some resisted anti-Semitic laws that stripped Jews of their property and jobs. Some hid Jews on their farms or in their homes. When the nazis occupied France they also occupied its colonial territories, where they enforced draconian laws and built death camps. Satloff, executive director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, spent years finding the unheralded Muslim righteous, those who saved Jewish lives in the Holocaust as it befell Europe and Africa. He describes the means by which nazis extended racial murder deep into French North Africa, and the efforts by ordinary Muslims to protect their Jewish townsmen and even strangers. Most telling is his analysis of why so few, whether Muslim or Jewish, have revealed these acts of valor until now. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)