Rarely is a partnership so unlikely. Sapir Academic College and the Ghetto Fighter’s (Lohamei HaGeta’ot) Kibbutz have joined forces with inmates from the Ayalon Prison to honor the lives of Righteous Gentiles who saved Jews during the Holocaust.
It’s a project of Radio Focus, a groundbreaking, inmate rehabilitation initiative of the Israel Prison Service in cooperation with Sapir’s Communications Department. At Radio Focus, inmates serve as writers, editors, radio hosts and announcers. Now they’ve produced an outstanding series of podcasts on the lives of courageous Gentiles who risked their own safety to protect Jews from the Nazi murder machine. Among others, episodes profile heroes like Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese diplomat who helped thousands of Jews flee Europe; Muhammad Helmi, the Egyptian born doctor who hid Jews in Berlin during the war; and Anton Schmidt, a Sergeant in the Wermacht who helped 250 Jews escape the Bialystok ghetto, ultimately paying with his life for this act of bravery. It takes courage to save a life. It also takes courage to change one’s life. Sapir is helping people overcome their past by sharing tales of moral valor that can inspire us all.