How an Albanian Muslim Rescued Two Jewish Families from Hitler

Dec. 19 2019

During the Axis powers’ occupation of Albania, Xhemal Veseli was one of many Muslims who sheltered Jews during the Holocaust. In 2004, Yad Vashem formally recognized him as one of the “Righteous among the Nations.” Ilanit Chernick tells the story of how he took in seven Jews:

The Mandil family escaped the Nazi invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, fleeing to . . . Albania, which at the time was occupied by Italy. “My brother was a photographer in Tirana when he met a group of Jews who arrived from [the nearby city of] Kavajë,” [Veseli recounted]. “It was a coincidence that one of them from the group was a photographer, too; he was going to look for a job at a photographer’s shop in Tirana.”

It happened that the shop where Moshe Mandil was looking for a job was owned by a man named Neshad Prizerini, who had once been Mandil’s own apprentice. Prizerini offered Mandil a job and invited him, his wife, and two children to stay with his family.

At the time, his apprentice happened to be Veseli’s seventeen-year-old brother, who was sent there from [their native town of] Kruja to learn the trade. But when the Nazis invaded Tirana, “my brother phoned me to come and take them to Kruja,” Veseli recalled, “I went, and I took them in my cattle cart to Kruja—we sheltered them for five months.” . . .

Veseli later brought three members of the Ben-Yosef family from Tirana [as well], hiding both families in his barn. They remained with the Veseli family until liberation in November 1944.

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Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Albania, Holocaust, Photography, Righteous Among the Nations, Yugoslavia

 

How China Equips the Islamic Republic to Repress Its People

In its dedication to bringing totalitarianism into the 21st century, the Chinese Communist party has developed high-tech forms of surveillance using facial-recognition software, a vast system of “social credit,” and careful control over its subjects’ cellular phones. Even stricter and more invasive measures are applied to the Uyghurs of the northwestern part of the country. Beijing is also happy to export its innovations in tyranny to allies like Iran and Russia. Playing a key role in these advances is a nominally private company called Tiandy Technologies. Craig Singleton describes its activities:

Both Tiandy testimonials and Chinese-government press releases advertise the use of the company’s products by Chinese officials to track and interrogate Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in China’s Xinjiang province. According to human-rights groups, Chinese authorities also employ Tiandy products, such as “tiger chairs,” to torture Uyghurs and other minorities.

Iran has long relied on China to augment its digital surveillance capabilities, and Tehran was an early adopter of Beijing’s “social-credit” system, which it wields to assess citizens’ behavior and trustworthiness. . . . Iranian government representatives have publicized plans to leverage smart technologies, including AI-powered face recognition, to maintain regime stability and neutralize dissent. Enhanced cooperation with China is central to those efforts.

At present, Tiandy is not subject to U.S. sanctions or export controls. In light of Tiandy’s operations in both Xinjiang and Iran, policymakers should consider removing the company, its owner, and stakeholders from the international financial system and global supply chains.

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Read more at FDD

More about: China, Human Rights, Iran, Totalitarianism, U.S. Foreign policy