November 2, 2010

“We have no Jews in Morocco! Only Moroccan citizens”


The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation  to pay tribute to the Moroccan people.

The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation is a global-reach NGO, with offices in New York, Berlin, Jerusalem, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. Among its members are more than a hundred heads of state and Nobel Prize laureates, as well as distinguished personalities from all faiths.

Due to its interfaith nature, the Foundation is strongly supported by both the Catholic and Protestant Churches. In Berlin, it operates from the Vaterunser Evangelical Church. In Buenos Aires, Argentina, following an initiative of the Wallenberg Foundation, the Catholic Cathedral features a mural in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. The Awards Committee of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation (IRWF) has resolved to bestow the “Raoul Wallenberg Humanitarian Award to the Kingdom of Morocco”.

This distinction will represent a token of appreciation to the Muslims from different countries who helped save the lives of Jews during the Second World War, and particularly to the Moroccan Royal Family and to the Mo roccan people for the blessed role that Morocco has traditionally played in favor of the dialogue and mutual respect between all creeds, religions and nations.

In a letter addressed to the IRWF, His Majesty, King Mohamed VI, expressed his being “deeply rewarded and honoured in this context to receive in Morocco the special medal you have conceived for this occasion”.

This tradition was highlighted by Sultan Mohamed V (later known as King Mohamed V), who during the Vichy regime,expressed his unconditional support towards his Jewish subjects. According to verbal historical accounts, when a Nazi commander demanded to get a list of the Moroccan Jews, Sultan Mohamed V is believed to have retorted with the following phrase:

“We have no Jews in Morocco! Only Moroccan citizens”.

This is only one example of many which underscore the spirit of civic solidarity of the Moroccan monarchs and their subjects.

This same spirit of civic courage and solidarity was displayed by Muslims from other countries, such as Tunisia, Albania and Turkey, who made a difference and proved to the world that the values of solidarity know no religious boundaries.

The main mission of the Foundation is to research and divulge the feats of the rescuers of victims of the Holocaust, focusing on educational programs which underscore their legacies to the younger generations. This research encompasses stories of rescuers from all faiths, religions and nationalities.

Through this humble recognition, people from all creeds: Christian, Jews, Muslims; believers and agnostics will express their gratitued to one of the most outstanding royal families of the world, leaders of a country – Morocco – which has never stopped to protect its citizens during the Holocaust.

In preparation to this event, the IRWF is calling upon historians and people from all venues to provide our Research Department with historical evidences regarding the Moroccan tradition of mutually respected coexistence and to endorse this hommage by writing to