The only Arab to be awarded Israel’s highest honour for saving Jews during the Nazi Holocaust has posthumously received his award.
Egyptian doctor Mohamed Helmy hid a young Jewish woman and helped her family in Berlin, where he lived and had worked before World War Two.
A descendant of Dr Helmy, who died in 1982, was presented with the award at a ceremony in the city.
Some 70 Muslims are among 26,500 non-Jews recognised by Israel as saviours.
Mohamed Helmy had settled in Berlin in 1922, where he studied medicine and worked at a hospital. He himself suffered racial discrimination under the Nazis, lost his job and was twice arrested.
As persecution of Germany’s Jews intensified, Dr Helmy provided a hiding place for one of his patients, 21-year-old Anna Boros, at a property he owned in the city.
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He managed to shelter her from the Gestapo and provide assistance to her mother, stepfather and grandmother until the end of the war in 1945.
Later on, Anna Boros, wrote: “Dr Helmy did everything for me out of the generosity of his heart, and I will be grateful to him for all eternity.”
Dr Helmy was recognised by Yad Vashem – Israel’s national Holocaust Memorial institution – as Righteous Among the Nations in 2013.
His award was presented to his great-nephew, Nasser Kotby – also a doctor – at the Israeli embassy in Berlin. Anna Boros’s daughter also came from New York to honour him at the event.