Israel museum awards Arab who saved Jews in WWII

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. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language, racial slurs or consistent name calling will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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