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Dr. Mohamed Helmy: Out of the Generosity of His Heart

Life: 1901-1982Why you should know him: Mohamed Helmy was an Egyptian doctor in Berlin who saved Jews from the Nazis during the Holocaust.Born in Egypt in 1901, Mohamed Helmy went to Germany in the 1920s for medical school. After graduation, Dr. Helmy settled in Berlin, where he worked as the head of a hospital's urology department.In 1933, Dr. Helmy saw Jewish doctors dismissed from the hospital, after the Nazis took power. At first, Dr. Helmy was not fired - as Nazi racial policy considered him a descendant of Ham, the son of Noah - but did face discrimination because he was Egyptian. But in 1938, Dr. Helmy was fired, was not allowed to marry his German fiance, and was also arrested in 1939 and 1940 because of his nationality.But despite the persecution that Dr. Helmy faced, he still spoke out against the Nazis and their policies. He also acted on his beliefs, helping to hide Jews. Throughout the war, Dr. Helmy hid a Jewish friend of his, Anna Boros, as well as her family, in a cabin he owned in Berlin. The Nazis knew of the cabin, and also frequently interrogated Dr. Helmy. After the war, Anna recalled:He managed to evade all their interrogations. In such cases he would bring me to friends where I would stay for several days, introducing me as his cousin from Dresden. When the danger would pass, I would return to his cabin… Dr. Helmy did everything for me out of the generosity of his heart and I will be grateful to him for eternity.Thanks to Dr. Mohamed Helmy's courage, Anna and her family survived the war. Dr. Helmy died in 1982, but after his death, he was honored by Yad Vashem as the first Arab to be named Righteous Among the Nations.


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