Georges Dilsizian and his son, Andre Gustave Disilizian have been distinguished as Righteous among the Nations, bringing the total number of recognized Armenian Rescuers of victims of the Shoah up to 21. The official ceremony will take place today, December 28th, 2011, at the Yad Vashem Museum, in Jerusalem.
The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, whose mission is to research, document and divulge the legacies of the Rescuers, has opened a riveting chapter aimed at unveiling the amazing stories of the brave Armenians who, risked their lives during the Holocaust, in their efforts to save the victims of the Nazi persecution.
This chapter was launched under the helm of the IRWF’s newly appointed Honorary President, Mr. Eduardo Eurnekian, in line with the vision of the Wallenberg Foundation, namely, to stress the positive and to shed light on role models for the younger generations.
Georges Dilsizian feld to France in the end of the 19th century, following the persecution of Armenians in Turkey. His son, Andre Gustave, born in France, married Lea, a Jewish woman, whose family moved to France from Turkey. During the German occupation of France, the Dilsizian’s (father and son) actively gave shelter to Lea’s relatives.
Armenia is a small country, with some 3 million inhabitants and a large diaspora scattered among several countries. According to the IRWF’s Special Research Committee on Armenian Rescuers, “the actual number of Armenians who were involved in life-saving actions during the Holocaust, is impressive, well beyond the 21 Armenians who have been officially recognized…..Further research will certainly unveil unknown stories of heroism”.
Even the current number of Armenian rescuers is high in relation to the size of its population. Turkey, for instance, with a population of 75 million, has only one recognized rescuer.