December 19, 2019

IRWF’s Houses of Life program was presented at the European University of Tirana (UET)

Tirana- 16 December 2019 –

Following an official invitation by the Rector of the UET, Prof. Dr. Nevila Nika, Mr. Danny Rainer, Vice-President of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation and Head of the Israeli representation of the NGO, presented a lecture before graduate students and Professors of the Social Sciences Department at the UET.

Amongst the guests of honor who attended the event was the Ambassador of Israel in Albania, HE Mr. Noah Gal Gendler.

Mr. Rainer was introduced to audience by Prof. Tonin Gjuraj, Vice-Rector of the UET and former Ambassador of Albania in Israel. Prof. Gjuraj highlighted the special relations between the Albanian and Jewish peoples and the remarkable role played by his fellow countrymen during WWII.

The lecture was entitled: “Recognizing the heroism of the Holocaust rescuers through the Houses of Life program, a project of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation”.

Mr. Rainer underscored the mission of the IRWF, stating that it deals with “recognition of goodness” and conveyed a detailed report about its Houses of Life program, aimed at identifying and paying tribute to physical sites that gave shelter to those persecuted by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

“In that respect”, Mr. Rainer pointed-out that “The case of Albania is absolutely singular, being the only country under Nazi occupation which ended the war with a larger number of Jews than it had before the commencement of WWII”.

“The Albanians have spontaneously provided shelter not only to its small local community, but also to Jewish refugees from neighboring countries, according to the principle of BESA, a pledge of honor to protect the guest”.

“Even the WWII puppet government of Albania which cooperated with the Germans, refused to turn in the Jews that were in the country”.

In recognition of the courage and solidarity of the Albanian people, the IRWF proclaimed the whole country of Albania as a House of Life, in a moving ceremony that took place on January 27th, 2019, under the auspices of HE President Ilir Meta.

Following the lecture, a round of Q&A took place.

Left to Right: Ambassador Noah Gal Gendler, Prof. Tonin Gjuraj and Danny Rainer

A view of the audience

The official invitation letter