The Albanian Code
E diele, 05.09.2021, 01:22 PM
The Albanian Code from award-winning Israeli filmmaker Yael Katzir tells the little-known story of how thousands of Jewish refugees in Albania were rescued in World War II. Annie Altaraz, who was saved there having escaped from Yugoslavia, decides to return to say thank you. This voyage is full of surprises, discovering how a nation bound by its moral code saved refugees and recognizing Albania’s unique wartime role in rescuing the persecuted.
MEET THE PANEL
Award-winning Israeli filmmaker YAEL KATZIR has produced and aired over 120 films on Israeli television. She holds degrees in history and literature from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and UCLA and in broadcasting and film from Boston University, In addition to Shores of Hope, which we presented in 2020, her films include My Grandmother had a Gun, The Albanian Code, Violins in Wartime, Praying in Her Own Voice, Yiddish Theater — A Love Story, Shivah for my Mother and Company Jasmine. She is the author of Commando-Mom, Diary of a Mother of an Infantry Soldier (1994). She is a Professor of film and history at the Art School of Beit Berl Academic College and is the Principal of Katzir Productions.
SAIMIR A. LOLJA is an expert on Albania’s role in the rescue of Jews during the Holocaust and was a consultant on Yael Katzir‘s film The Albanian Code. He was a Chemical Engineering Faculty member at the University of Tirana, Albania and more recently in Canada at Ryerson University and the University of Toronto. He submitted to Yad Vashem a long list of Jews rescued by Albanians that he personally compiled. His article “The Albanian Besa – The Golden Rule” appeared in The Tirana Times. He has presented during Holocaust Education Week in Ontario, Canada and contributed to conferences in France, Canada, and Albania. He is currently working on another documentary film on Albania’s rescue of Jews during World War II.
DR. MORDECAI PALDIEL headed the Righteous Among the Nations Department at Yad Vashem from 1982-2007. His books include The Path of the Righteous, Sheltering the Jews, Saving the Jews, Diplomat Heroes of the Holocaust, Saving One’s Own: Jewish Rescuers During the Holocaust and The Righteous Among the Nations. He teaches at Stern College and Touro College and serves on the Board of the Sousa Mendes Foundation. Thanks to his efforts, there is now a square named for Aristides de Sousa Mendes as well as a street named for Raoul Wallenberg, both in Jerusalem. He is a member of the B’nai Brith committee in Israel honoring Jewish rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust.