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Spiritual Leader from Albania Visits the Ghetto Fighters' House

Every day at the Ghetto Fighters’ House presents new discoveries and interesting visitors. On Monday, January 7 honored guests Dede Baba Mondi from Albania and his colleague and translator Arben (Benny) Sulejmani spent a number of hours at the museum.  The Dede Baba Mondi was in Israel to attend a wedding with Israeli friends who accompanied him to the museum.

Dede Baba Mondi is an important spiritual leader of the Bektashi in Albaniam a Sufi order that has much in common with other Islamic mystical movements. 

This unexpected and honored visit was an opportunity for Beth Dotan, the new Director of the GFH International Director to speak to the Dede Baba Mondi about her connection with a Muslim, Albanian family, Veseli, who saved two Jewish families during World War II.  During World War II, the Albanians, most of whom are Muslim, saved over 2000 Jews from Nazi persecution, giving them clothes, Albanian names, and taking them in as part of the family as part of the "besa" code of honor and of taking care of those in need.

While viewing  The Righteous Among the Nations” exhibit, homage to those non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews, a photo of the Vesili family unexpectedly flashed in the video presentation of various individuals.  The connection of that family story and the visit with Dede Baba Mondi was very powerful.

After visiting numerous other exhibits including “The Treblinka Hall”, “The Yizkor Hall” and “Yad Layeled”, Dede Baba Mondi was very touched and expressed his deep concern about humanity.  Mr. Sulejamni wrote in a note following the tour that, “It was truly a privilege to spend time with you all and to experience the museum through the eyes and pictures of those who survived and to think of the others who did not. To experience the museum through the eyes of Dede Baba Mondi was also a moving experience.”

Visiting in Yad Layeled

Behind the scenes of the "Yizkor Hall" in the archives

In front of the "Righteous Gentiles" exhibit:  From left to right:  Dede Raya Kalisman, Baba Mondi  and Beth Dotan

 

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