(October 2, 2019 / JNS) Albania’s only Jewish museum reopened on Sunday, courtesy of a businessman who prevented it from closing.
The Solomon Museum shows how Albania’s small Jewish population was saved during the Holocaust, especially by Muslim and Christian Albanians who sheltered them. It was opened by local professor Simon Vrusho in 2018.
Albania was the only country occupied by the Nazis whose Jewish population increased after the Holocaust—from an estimated 700 to more than 2,000. Each year, the Albanian government holds events on Holocaust Remembrance Day.
“Memories need to have their own home,” the retired professor told AFP shortly before his passing.
Following Vrusho’s death in February at the age of 75, the small museum’s future appeared uncertain.
After reading a report in AFP, French-Albanian businessman Gazmend Toska, an Orthodox Christian, chose to finance the museum and relocate it to a larger site in the city of Berat.
“It was deeply moving to see the response to AFP’s coverage of this museum,” said Toska, 58, at the facility’s reopening.
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