BESA: A Code of Honor
A photographic exhibit of Muslim Albanians who rescued Jews during the Holocaust
Sept 6 – Nov 13, 2017
The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
Through beautiful photographs and stories, the BESA exhibit tells the story of the Albanian population, who, in an extraordinary act, refused to comply with their occupier’s orders to turn over lists of Jews residing in Albania. In addition, various governmental agencies provided Jews with falsified documents allowing them to intermingle amongst the Muslim population. The Albanians not only protected their Jewish citizens, but also provided sanctuary to Jewish refugees placing themselves under the danger of deportation to concentration camps. The remarkable assistance afforded to the Jews was grounded in Besa, a code of honor, which still today serves as the highest ethical code in the country. Besa, literally means “to keep the promise.” One who acts according to Besa is someone who keeps his word, someone to whom one can trust one’s life and the lives of one’s family.