The Arab Schindler

The Arab Schindler

Credit:(Photo: Library of Congress/Carl Van Vechten)

Khaled Abdul-Wahab

Life: March 1, 1911 – September 4, 1997

Why you should know him: Khaled Abdul-Wahab was a Muslim in Tunisia who, during the Holocaust, saved 25 Tunisian Jews from the Nazis.

Khaled Abdul-Wahab grew up in a wealthy Tunisian family. Before World War II began, he studied art and architecture in New York. Back in Tunisia during the war, he was an interlocutor between the occupying Nazis and the people of his hometown. Hearing of the Nazis’ plans to harm Tunisia’s Jewish population, Abdul-Wahab helped 25 Jews escape and hid them on his family’s farm. Next to the farm was a camp where injured Nazi soldiers were treated, but none of Abdul-Wahab’s farmhands divulged the secret of the hidden Jews.

The Jewish families stayed in hiding until the British overtook Tunisia, driving the Nazis out. Safe from the Germans and their “final solution,” the Jews were able to return to their homes. Because of his selfless actions, Khaled Abdul-Wahab has come to be known as the “Arab Schindler.”

Tags: Advocates and Allies

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